NADI: For Rivers

Embodying the essence of this word, our initiative on water engages and celebrates rivers as the pulse and life force of our ecology and civilisation.

Rivers have nurtured civilizations since time immemorial. In our everyday lives, they influence and shape myriad aspects of our existence including those relating to livelihood, health, culture, tourism, trade and connectivity. Rivers are also the pulse of the ecology. Their health indicates the health of the forests, the watershed and the springshed. Ensuring riverine health is central to maintaining balance between ecological integrity and economic growth.

At Asian Confluence, we view the region of our focus as a confluence of geographies connected by the rivers and oceans. In the context of our overall mandate, rivers therefore form a core theme of our work and we aim to integrate, converge and connect the various aspects, geographies and essence of our work through our NADI initiative. 

The NADI initiative comprises the following components:

NADI: The Asian Confluence River Festival:

Asian Confluence organises NADI, the international river festival as one of its flagship initiatives. As a festival, it brings together a multi-track and multi-stakeholder platform to deliberate on the myriad aspects of how rivers influence the ecology, connectivity, trade, politics, culture and people of the region. This includes discussions on policy and practice and celebration of culture and heritage. It has several parallel events and programs including policy dialogue, stakeholder meets, art and culture exhibitions and performances. The festival acts a platform to share, advocate, network, connect and forge collaborations.

The festivals enjoys active participation of policy makers, businesses, civil society, academia, activists, artits and performers.

myNADI conversations:

myNADI is a series of two-way conversations with communities to understand their engagement with rivers and water and also to build capacities and create a ground up discourse on the larger picture of water governance.

They are designed as a free flowing and interactive consultation at the grassroots to enable people to voice and express their connect with the river and the water body closest to them. These conversations help  us to have a live connect with the pulse of ground realities. They are  aimed to inform our research and advocacy on water issues  by incorporating the concerns, challenges, needs and aspirations of people on the ground. They also act as a platform where the grassroots can be initiated to the larger picture and macro development planning that directly or indirectly impacts them.


The Asia Confluence is launching a series of webinars on the common theme “Asian Confluence Nadi Conversations” to highlight the narrative of a celebration of the common riverine and civilizational heritage of the nations and peoples in the Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna (GBM) Basin. ‘NADI Conversations’ are planned as a web-based, multi-stakeholder conversation series, started by the Asian Confluence under one of its flagship initiatives: NADI, to celebrate rivers as the pulse and life force of our ecology and civilization. It is so important because rivers shape and influence varied aspects of our existence, including those related to agriculture, livelihood, health, culture, tourism, sustainability, trade and connectivity. This series is a follow-up to the very constructive narrative set in the last two NADI conferences held in Shillong and Dhaka with active participation of senior policymakers from India and Bangladesh respectively in 2016 and 2017.

The NADI Conversation initiative primarily focuses on the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) Basin and the platform will further ideate in dealing with specific cases of cross-learning between South and South east asia with sharing from the Mekong river basin.

It aims to:

  • To integrate, converge and connect ideas and gather ground-up instances to influence policy changes and factor in the sustainability aspect;
  • To connect experts, practitioners and relevant stakeholders from various disciplines dealing with the ecosystem of water, agriculture, livelihood, inland waterways, trade, connectivity and tourism for a better understanding of the region; and
  • To understand the newer challenges in the region due to the global pandemic and its affect on the future of trade, tourism, connectivity, agriculture, livelihood