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Asian Confluence attends meet on "Benefit Sharing approach" to shared rivers

As part of its initiative of water resource management Asian Confluence presented a framework for creating closer collaboration for effective management of riverine resources between Meghalaya and Bangladesh in a workshop on water management in the Meghna Basin, facilitated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The meeting, attended by representatives of the Meghalaya water resources management department and a host of experts from Bangladesh held two day long deliberations on role of civil society and government working together to create more action and awareness on water resources conservation. The current discourse on water resource development is based on the ‘division of resources’ rather than ‘sharing of benefits’. Benefit sharing as an approach to negotiation could lead to effective agreements by ensuring win-win outcomes for multiple stakeholders. Mutually beneficial benefit-sharing agreements at the trans-boundary level will also have a ‘spill over’ repercussion on multilateral cooperation between the countries. However, the development and operationalization of effective ‘benefit sharing’ agreements is a step-wise process requiring identification of the ‘basket of benefits’ and ensuring its equitable distribution among the stakeholders said Mr. Vishwa Ranjan from IUCN regional headquarters in Bangkok, who facilitated the discussions.

The workshop "Benefit Sharing to Enhance Multi-level Cooperation for Integrated Management of the Meghna Basin held on 4&5 July in Dhaka, aimed to provide a platform to discuss and develop a roadmap to create an enabling environment for the development and implementation of innovative benefit-sharing approaches between Bangladesh and India. Several experts from both government and civil society in India and Bangladesh participated. Asian Confluence has been involved in this effort as a civil society organization committed to building better understanding of natural resources of the region. Sabyasachi Dutta, the Executive Director of Asian Confluence also served on the three drafting committee for creating a civil society vision for water resource management in the Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna Basin.