Water, Peace & Security Partnership Recognized with Luxembourg Peace Prize

Published: 28 May 2020

The Water, Peace and Security Partnership has been awarded the 2020 Luxembourg Peace Prize for Outstanding Environmental Peace. The ceremony has been postponed to 2021 as part of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 28, 2021, peace activists from around the world will gather for the 9th Annual Luxembourg Peace Prize ceremony.

For the ninth consecutive year, the Schengen Peace Foundation and the World Peace Forum will be awarding the prestigious Luxembourg Peace Prize to outstanding peacemakers and activists. The Luxembourg Peace Prize for Outstanding Environmental Peace recognizes contributions to sustainable development, environmental governance, natural resource management and environmental conflict management from an ecological perspective. Previous recipients include Jane Goodall, the SEKEM initiative and Steven M. Druker.

The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership was founded in 2018 to pioneer the development of innovative tools and services that help identify and address water-related security risks. These tools and services can link hydrological, social, economic, ecological and political factors to pinpoint changes in short-term water availability and their potential impacts on society. Based on this information, evidence-based actions can be taken to mitigate human security risks, which WPS facilitates through capacity development and dialogue support.

Susanne Schmeier, WPS Coordinator, Senior Lecturer Water Law and Diplomacy, IHE Delft

“Receiving the Prize is a great motivation for us to continue and further intensify our work on the linkages between water and climate insecurity and conflict, instability and fragility. Advancing our analytical and dialogue tools and supporting actors at the local, national and international level to proactively and effectively engage in the prevention and mitigation of conflicts will hopefully contribute to a more peaceful world — especially in times of complex crises.”

WPS works to provide data, analyze risks, propose solutions and support the prevention of conflicts over water by enabling investors, policymakers and communities to take coordinated action at an early stage. Data is fundamental to understanding how water shortages translate into social consequences, where water-related risks are highest, what drives these risks and what solutions exist. Awareness and capacity to act enable decision-makers at all levels to implement these solutions.

WPS is a collaboration between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a consortium of six partners: IHE Delft (lead), World Resources Institute,  The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, Wetlands InternationalInternational Alert and Deltares.

Karen Meijer, Senior Researcher, Social Impacts of Water Scarcity, Deltares

“WPS activities contribute to an improved understanding of how humans respond to water crises, which we believe is pertinent for the identification of effective actions to reduce water-related security risks. The Luxembourg Peace Prize is a great encouragement for us to continue our work on understanding interactions between water systems and society.”

The initiative is intended to become an open network that can bring together knowledge, capacities and activities directed at accelerating and scaling up preventative action in the context of water stress-induced conflict, migration or other forms of social destabilization. The consortium collaborates with a growing number of institutions, including Oregon State University, Pacific Institute, New America, and Clingendael-Netherlands Institute of Foreign Relations.