Water for peace in south Asia

14 March 2012 | News story

Bangladesh and India have some of the most intricate and complex river systems in the world. The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, the three major rivers, along with their tributaries drain an area of about 1.75 million square kilometres supporting a population of 620 million people.

Bringing together India and Bangladesh to better manage these precious resources can be challenging. But that’s exactly what Frank van der Valk, Director of IUCN’s “Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India initiative” is trying to do.

Speaking at the World Water Forum in Marseille, Frank explains what are the major problems facing communities in India and Bangladesh regarding water.

At a national level Bangladesh and India have never come to physical blows over water resources, but there are problems that persist.

So what is IUCN doing to improve this relationship.

But it’s not just experts that IUCN are working with.

Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative is a civil society led multi-stakeholder dialogue process to promote better understanding of the management of natural resources in Bangladesh and India. Ecosystems for Life works to develop a shared vision and understanding of food, livelihood and water security issues through collaborative research and studies, creation of a knowledge hub, developing research-based policy options and enhancing the capacity of civil society stakeholders to participate in the management of natural resources.


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.