A workshop held last week by IUCN suggested that greater research, sharing of knowledge, more dialogues and capacity building between Bangladesh and India would assist in resolving trans-boundary river issues between the two countries.
The day long international workshop titled ‘Trans-boundary water resource knowledge sharing: Presentation of Joint Research Findings and Regional Initiatives’ was held on 24 November in Dhaka, under the project called, “Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative.”
State Minister for Water Resources, Mahbubur Rahman addressed the workshop as the chief guest. I want to congratulate the IUCN team in Bangladesh, India and Asia Regional Office for taking a courageous step forward to initiate collaborative actions between Bangladesh and India on management of water regimes through involvement of various stakeholders, Mahbubur Rahman said in his remarks. Chaired by Former Advisor to the Caretaker Government, CM Shafi Sami, the workshop presented the opportunity for international and nation guest speakers to deliver findings on regional initiatives including Ecosystems for Life, The Bay of Bengal Large Marine System (BOBLME) project, Mangroves for the Future Initiative and India’s Conservation Initiatives in key landscapes presented by WWF (World Wildlife Fund).
The workshop also provided the opportunity for joint Bangladesh and India research teams to present their findings on improved management initiatives of natural resources in both countries. Topics of interest included:
• Food security, water productivity and poverty
• Impacts of climate change
• Convergence of inland navigation and integrated water resources management goals – developing a common understanding of economic, social and environmental benefits
• Environmental security
• Biodiversity conservation
The State Minister also launched the Ecosystems for Life: Trans-boundary Rivers between Bangladesh and India website. The principal aim of the website is to provide selected information on the 54 shared rivers between Bangladesh and India on the form of a river atlas. The atlas charts out the origins of the rivers, local names of the tributaries as well as the main towns and cities along their banks.