CNRD is actively fostering dialogues among researchers, but also among academia, policy-makers, and stakeholders. Various formats have been established in the past, covering regional science-policy dialogues to foster cooperation among CNRD partner universities and key stakeholders in project areas, alumni seminars to actively engage the young researcher generation as well as international research workshops to establish joint research on SDG-related topics.
CNRD also offers its network members, PhD students and cooperation partners the opportunity to participate in international conferences to disseminate research results and represent the CNRD. Over the past few years, CNRD, together with its international partner agencies and networks, has organized several international conferences in Chile, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, and Kenya. Particularly noteworthy is the conference series Water Security and Climate Change (WSCC). More conferences in cooperation with other exceed centers are going to be implemented. Furthermore, various regional meetings on different SDG-related topics take place every year at the partner universities.
The ‘Water Security and Climate Change’ conference series
Branches of the CNRD network are far-reaching and it was obvious to use and expand the diversity of such a cooperation. In order to increase the visibility of the network, to disseminate and present the current state of research, CNRD has been organizing a joint conference series on Water Security and Climate Change (WSCC) in cooperation with the international network on Sustainable Water Management in Developing Countries (SWINDON) and the Food Security Center (FSC). All three networks work in similar fields and are part of the Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation– exceed – funding program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Using synergies between the partner networks was therefore obvious.
Since 2016, the aim of the WSCC has been to create a platform for science, decision-makers from policy, society, and the economy to discuss aspects of water security and its relationship to climate variability and change. Both issues are perceived by all stakeholders alike as the greatest challenges of the 21st century and are an integral part of Agenda 2030 and the postulated SDGs. A central question is how water as a resource can be used, managed, and distributed while preserving ecological and economic needs. The concept of the conference thus corresponds to the international and transdisciplinary approach of the CNRD.
In order to reflect the international character of the networks, WSCC has taken place under the auspices of different network partners. In 2016 a conference was organized by the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, in 2017 in Cologne by the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, TH Köln, and 2018 in Nairobi at the Kenyatta University. In 2019 the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, Mexico is going to host the event. Each conference has a different (regional) orientation, is dedicated to a different topic, and is attended by about 200 participants from up to 45 countries.
A selection of the numerous presentations of the WSCC 2016/17 has been collected into a published in the book Water Security in Asia – Opportunities and Challenges in the Context of Climate Change