Celebrating the Meghna River - A Shared Heritage

Date:   Thu Sep 03, 2020 - Thu Sep 03, 2020

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Background:         

The Meghna River Basin covers a total area of 82,000 sq. km, of which 43% is located in Bangladesh and 67% in India. It is notable for its complex hydrography and includes at least 29 transboundary tributaries flowing from India into Bangladesh.

The ecosystem services provided by the Meghna River directly support the life and livelihoods of more than 50 million people, including indigenous communities such as the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia. The basin is considered a “biogeographical gateway” as it is located in the transition zone between Indian, Indo-Malayan, and Indo-Chinese biogeographical regions, and thus characterized by a high level of biodiversity and endemism. 

The current management strategies for the basin employ a business as usual approach, with countries and sectors working in a silo, leading to weak management of natural resources, changes in land use, and a heavy reliance on grey infrastructure to manage natural disasters. This approach has exacerbated climate and environmental risks in the basin, including more frequent floods and droughts with direct economic impacts on the agriculture and the fisheries sectors, among many others.

Although there is increasing recognition of the relevance of the river basin approaches amongst the highest level of policymakers in both Bangladesh and India, the current water dialogue in the basin is still focused on the sharing of volumes of waters. In October 2019, Bangladesh and India signed a water-sharing agreement on the Feni River, a transboundary tributary of the Meghna Basin, and water sharing treaties on five more transboundary rivers are being discussed. This provides an opportunity to discuss strategies to expand the scope of current dialogues from the focus on the sharing of volumes of water towards joint management to enhance the ecosystem benefits provided by the Meghna Basin. 

Purpose

Highlight the cultural, social, ecosystem, and livelihood benefits provided by the Meghna River, and facilitate dialogue on the policy and institutional frameworks required to support the inclusive and sustainable management of the Meghna River.

Target audiences 

Governments, CSOs, Academics, and Young Water Professionals working on community livelihoods and river basin management issues in the Meghna in Bangladesh and India.

Webinar content:

Three webinars in three consecutive weeks, happening every Thursday, starting 3rd Sept 2020. This is the third webinar of the series. Each webinar will run for 90 minutes, exploring specific themes with community members, subject experts, and policymakers.

Meghna Conversation 1: Celebrating the Meghna River - A Shared Heritage

 

 

The objective of this webinar will be to improve participants’ understanding of the cultural, social, ecological values and livelihood benefits provided by the Meghna River Basin, and trigger discussion with experts on how to sustain and expand these benefits.

Schedule: Thursday, 3 September 2020, 14:00 India Standard Time /14:30 Bangladesh Standard Time



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