Water Diplomacy (WADI)

One river, many names - The mighty Brahmaputra is called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, Dihang in Assam, and Jamuna in Bangladesh

Project title: Water Diplomacy: Making Water Cooperation Work; Technical support for the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) region case-study (WADI)

Location: China, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh

Duration: 2015 – 2016

Project background: The Hague Institute for Global Justice, of the Netherlands, participated as trainers for hydro-diplomacy activities under the ‘Ecosystems for Life (E4L): A Bangladesh-India Initiative’ project of IUCN in 2014. The collaboration extended to this project that entails a comparative analysis of tools used in multi-track diplomacy and peace processes.

Where the key research question focuses on ‘how can participatory and diplomatic interventions successfully be applied to build trust amongst all stakeholders and reach a mutually accepted agreement and sustainable implementation?’, the project aims to identify a Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), and where possible, to create ownership and commitment from basin stakeholders for follow-up activities related to the ZOPA.

The approach is to undertake state-of-the-art research, actively facilitate stakeholder dialogues, and train facilitators. The methodology will include in-depth confidential interviews with the key stakeholders in these processes on the factors influencing successful cooperation.

Objectives of the project: The project aims to develop a Legal and Political Economy Framework (LPEF) for understanding effective trans-boundary water cooperation that could be applied in the Brahmaputra river basin (China, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh) to gain more insight in legal, economic and institutional power dynamics across borders.

Expected outputs:

  • Country reports on baseline and landscape mapping for each of the mentioned countries
  • One regional report for the Brahmaputra basin region (the LPEF)
  • Two multi-stakeholder regional dialogues on the findings of those reports

Donor: The Hague Institute for Global Justice, the Netherlands


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