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The 2012 ACUNS-ASIL Summer workshop was held at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada from July – 14, 2012. It was held in cooperation with theĀ United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

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Program Theme and Policy Relevance

For 2012, the ACUNS-ASIL Summer Workshop on International Organization Studies (SWIOS) engages with the subject of “Water, Environment and Health: Addressing Knowledge, Capacity and Governance Challenges”. Topics that are anticipated as being addressed in the Workshop lectures, presentations and in participants’ research projects, include but are not limited to: international water law; international organizations and governance; the content and role of sustainability science; the effective articulation and communication of scientific research on water, environment and health to relevant national and international policy communities, non-scientific scholars and the media; and the global, national and local challenges of capacity building, knowledge enhancement and research-to-policy dialogue around issues of water and gender, water and local cooperation/conflict, water scarcity and livelihoods, water and economic health, and the nexus of water, energy and food. Together, these represent some of the most critical contemporary challenges for the governance of complex socio-ecological problems.

The 2012 SWIOS will take place only a short time following the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) meetings and associated civil society deliberations. The UNCSD’s central themes – a green economy in the context of sustainable development (SD) and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for SD – also include the subtopics of water, achieving SD through knowledge creation and ‘sustainable development learning’. In addition to their own intrinsic value, therefore, the themes and topics of SWIOS 22 will be of immediate relevance to critical, contemporary global policy developments and indeed some may be reflections upon the outcome(s) of Rio +20. It is an intention of the 2012 Workshop, that summaries of its discussions and/or recommendations should be made available as quickly as possible thereafter, through ACUNS’ global network of scholars and practitioners. Workshop participants also will work with each other and with the SWIOS director(s) to produce this agreed Summary Document as part of the SWIOS 2012 activities.