Water for Rojava Report From the International Water Forum in Hasakah, NE Syria, 27-28 September 2021

This report was prepared by the Water for Rojava Europe Committee for sharing information about the International Water Forum that took place in Hasakah, North-East Syria in September, 2021, with all who are interested. Members of the Water for Rojava Europe Committee attended the Forum as participants, and the report should not be considered an official release of the Forum itself.


Download and read the full NES Water Forum Report


The text was mainly written by Marko Ulvila from the Siemenpuu Foundation and Toon Bijnens from the Save the Tigris who participated in the forum. Also Nick Hildyard, Lucia T. and Jo T. contributed to this report.

More info on Water for Rojava here.

About the Water Forum

The International Water Forum in North and East Syria (NES) was organized by the Local Administration and Environment Authority in the Al-Jazira region, with the participation of Rojava University and the Al Firat Center for Studies on 27-28/9/2021 in Hasakah, NES.

More than 300 representatives of civil society and international humanitarian organizations operating in North and East Syria, human rights organizations and platforms concerned with the environment, and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria took part.

The forum focused on the currently worsening water situation in North and East Syria and the conditions arising from the scarcity of water sources. The organisers wanted to share information and find proposals that contribute to resolving the crisis and reducing the occurrence of humanitarian disasters.

The forum was held over two consecutive days with five main sessions, focusing on international agreements and conventions on international rivers and waterways, political dimensions of the water crisis in the region, the economic dimension of the water crisis, environmental impacts of the water crisis, and imminent disasters as a result of the deterioration of water security.

The organisers came out with a set of results and recommendations, in addition to forming a committee to follow up on the results and recommendations with all political and concerned parties from international and local organizations, civil society institutions, and the Autonomous Administration.

In the words of the organisers, the goals of the Forum were the following:

  • To highlight the effects of international charters, laws and agreements on water, and to draw attention to the regional politics and the war of monopolizing water resources and exploiting them in political and economic disputes.
  • To present and discuss the risks and challenges related to the issue of water security, to achieve security and sustainable development of water.
  • To outline the economic, social and environmental implications resulting from the unjust practices of Turkey’s powers to control water resources in the region, aiming at the creation of water crises.
  • To bring forth solutions and strategies for water problems in NES, attract investments, exchange experiences and attract international organizations and forces for cooperation to confront challenges in the water sector.

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