عنوان مقاله [English]
In today's world, water is a vital and irreplaceable substance. Negotiating over this strategic substance is consultation with the fate of the present and future generations of the country. Environmental diplomacy is a lever in international relations that aims to create environmental justice. Unfortunately, there has been an illusory view of it in Iranian politics. In recent years, with the unfair division of Hirmand watersheds on the borders of Iran and Afghanistan's non-compliance with international treaties, Iran has faced the challenge of the water crisis, drought, dust, and other problems. In this study, first, the amount of dependence of the southeastern basin on the types of available water resources has been investigated. Then, a description of the rules and regulations of border waters is reviewed. Finally, the most preferred causes of water crisis are discussed based on the multi-criteria assessment method (AHP). The results showed that since southeastern Iran lacks significant groundwater resources, springs and aqueducts, so, life is very complicated with the Hirmand watersheds. The results of the evaluation indicate that the crisis of water diplomacy, with the consensus of experts, weighs 0.406 at the top of the weaknesses and among its sub-criteria, lack of environmental priority in foreign policy targets is in the first place and the criterion of internal water management crisis weighing 0.236 and among its sub-criteria, the lack of storage and collection of rainwater gained the highest weakness.
Water is the base of prosperity and life, and the first communities were formed along the waters. Water is a vital and unique resource for which no alternative has been expected so far. However, at present, there is no proper perception of the importance of water. Water diplomacy means the potential for conflict and violence or vice versa, cooperation and authority over the management of shared and international water resources. With the continuing trend of water scarcity or in some cases water crisis in recent years, much attention has been paid to it. Water diplomacy is the ability of Beneficiary countries to manage common waters to achieve a stable political situation. That is, border and international water resources should be used sustainably without any tension or conflict between the parties. There are many rivers in the world that flow in more than one country and have caused disputes between involved the countries.
Despite signing a bilateral water treaty in 1973, water utilization in the Hirmand river basin has been a source of dispute between Iran and Afghanistan for many decades. While Iran accuses Afghanistan of depriving of the Hirmand water due to dam construction in the upper basin, Afghanistan assures that it enforces the treaty. An evident reduction of the Hirmand river flow to Iran in recent years is fully attributed by Afghanistan to a reduction in precipitation in the basin. Although Iran disagrees and remains unconvinced by this line of reasoning. A fundamental lack of trust in collected and shared hydrological data has hindered dialog between the two neighbors. Results reveal that the frequency and amount of heavy precipitation have been increasing over the mountainous areas. The total amount of precipitation has been increasing significantly. The intensity of heavy precipitation, however, has been decreasing over the basin.
The research method was descriptive-analytical and the data collection tools were field, library data, and valid scientific journals, and expert questionnaire. The questionnaire was managed hierarchically by 15 Ph.D. Environment experts. Then, evaluated and scored by Expert Choice 11 software based on AHP principles. Finally, the responses were analyzed, and the scores of the options were determined. In this study, 4 main criteria such as internal water management in the country, ignorance of climate change and crisis, the power of Iran's foreign diplomacy and water consumption, and 16 sub-criteria with the following titles: Lack of water storage, collection channel, and management of internal precipitation, lack of attention to land management, weakness of water distribution and transmission system, lack of wastewater treatment plant, water transfer from Oman Sea and no use of desalination plant, consumption in industry, agriculture, drinking, dust storms, rising winds, rising temperatures, declining rainfall, poor quality of words in international treaties, poor negotiation skills, weak international law and lack of priority on foreign policy goals were examined.
In the field of water management, two measures should be taken to reduce water stresses in areas with border basins: The first part is the internal management of water resources; Some water issues can be remedied by addressing internal weaknesses, such as rainfall management in wet periods, renovation of facilities and branches of water transmission lines, water consumption management, preventing the export of water-based goods and paying attention to the issue of virtual water in exports, paying attention to land management in agriculture and industry, traditionally preventing agriculture, paying attention to the principles and criteria of UNESCO to reject or approve the implementation of inter-basin water transfer projects, having an inter-sectorial attitude and paying attention to comprehensive environmental management. Unfortunately, there has been a prevailing attitude at the moment. For example, in the case of rivers and wetland ecosystems, these valuable water areas are managed under both the environmental Protection Agency and the ministry of energy, and unfortunately, some of these wetlands have been documented in the name of the ministry of energy. In this type of method, the provision of sectorial benefits is considered and the allocation of wetlands and maintaining the stability of the country's rivers are threatened and even leads to the drying of wetlands. The second part is solving water problems related to environmental diplomacy. Water is a concern for communities in the dry part of the world and climate change has added to this concern. The existing realities in the field of environmental diplomacy in the country show that environmental diplomacy has been sacrificed in most cases and has failed in doing tasks so imposed pressure on the country.
The research findings showed that although in public opinion, the climate change crisis seems more critical, effective, tangible, and more understandable than any other crisis, the results of data analysis showed the priority of this criterion among the 4 crises is in the third priority of the region. The most important and first priority of the discussion was water diplomacy and then internal water management. Among the sub-criteria of environmental diplomacy, the most influential factor is the lack of environmental priority in the policy objectives of the ministry of foreign affairs. Finally, based on the evaluation results and the orientation of the final options towards external capacities, it was concluded that, rather than the crisis of water scarcity, most of the external water management and then the internal water management crisis was evaluated in this area. Also, the need for a legal review, based on the right to use and fair sharing of border waters with neighboring countries, upstream and downstream, should be among the priorities of future development plans in the country and it has to be planned. Due to the lack of access and lack of information of experts on the statistics of virtual water exports from this region and according to the discretion and consensus of experts, this case was not seen below the criteria of the water diplomacy crisis. As a result, the rankings and preferences below the water diplomacy criteria are a little bit cautious. Another important issue is the priority of environmental diplomacy in the main goals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and after that, the weaknesses and obstacles of international law should be removed, and efforts should also be made to prevent the quality of measurement criteria from being expressed in treaties so that there is no way for arbitrary action. The principle cited by the Iranian government is the accepted principle of international law in the operation of border waters. Today, the international community has turned to this theory and carries an important message, that not only the current waters between the two countries do not follow the principle of absolute sovereignty, but also the action of upstream countries to develop and use the facilities of current waters Regardless of the rights of downstream countries and the calculation of damages resulting from that act, it is a matter of condemnation in international law. Therefore, prioritizing the environmental issue in foreign policy goals is an important principle and should be taken seriously. If we are unaware of the crisis of border water diplomacy, we will inevitably have to wait for the resulting crises such as drought, dust, the destruction of agriculture, employment and migration, and so on.