From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential

The PCCP (From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential) programme facilitates multi-level and interdisciplinary dialogues in order to foster peace, cooperation and development related to the management of transboundary water resources.

Housed within UNESCO since 2001, PCCP is an associated programme of the United Nations World Water Assessment Progamme and of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme and is in a unique position to be active in water conflict resolution around the world.  It addresses situations where water users need support to manage their transboundary water resources in a peaceful and equitable manner.

The programme follows the idea that although transboundary water resources can be a source of conflict their joint management can be strengthened and even used as a means for further cooperation. Thus PCCP demonstrates that a situation with undeniable potential for conflict can be transformed into a situation where cooperation potential can emerge. As it fosters cooperation between nations by supporting and maintaining peace building processes PCCP contributes to UNESCO's mandate: to nurture the idea of peace in human minds.

PCCP's priority target groups are institutions and individuals that manage transboundary water resources:

  • Government decision-makers and diplomats who have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill their citizens' right to water. They also have the power to mobilize public support, and the responsibility to include civil society in their decision-making processes.
  • Leading water professionals who bridge the gap between governments and the public, and can raise awareness about the benefits of sharing water
  • Civil society networks whose increasing influence in water management and decision-making processes can be crucial since they operate at the local level, where water conflicts tend to be the most intense.
  • Educators at various levels who are training the next generation of transboundary water managers. The transfer of knowledge and experience, particularly from an interdisciplinary perspective, is essential to improve future management skills.
  • Students specializing in water-related disciplines since they will become the water managers, educators and decision-makers of the future.

PCCP coordinates cooperation processes and disseminates best practices of water conflict resolution and cooperation building. It offers a “one-stop-shop” for activities in transboundary waters, and establishes links with related initiatives within UNESCO and the UN more broadly. The programme also cooperates with other non-UN institutions around the world working in this domain.

In addition to UNESCO's regular budget and since 2009, PCCP activities are generously funded by the government of Italy through the Ministry of Environment. The government of Japan (Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transportation) funded PCCP activities from 2000 to 2009. The government of Andorra funded PCCP activities between 2003 and 2006.

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