BRIDGE in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins (BRIDGE GBM)

Project title: Building River Dialogue and Governance for civil society organisations in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins (BRIDGE GBM)

Location: Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Basins (Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal)

Duration: 1 July 2016 – 31 August 2017

Project Background:

The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) is a transboundary river system spanning five countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, and Nepal. Water resource management in the GBM region faces many challenges, stemming from its diverse socio-political and ecological context, as well as the absence of regional basin level approaches to water resource management.

A large number of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the region are working on water management issues with local communities and are aware of the situation on the ground. These organisations could potentially play a greater role in sustainable transboundary water management. However, most CSOs do not have access to technical knowledge, or the capacity to effectively engage and influence decision-making on shared water resources. As a result, the CSO community continues to have relatively little impact on regional water dialogues and decision-making process.

To tackle these challenges, the BRIDGE GBM project, facilitated by IUCN, aims to build the capacity of a network of CSOs in the GBM basins to improve their engagement in transboundary water management issues.

Objectives of the project: 

The main goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity and "voice" of CSOs by developing a common strategic vision on water cooperation at the regional level. This regional approach, combined with a practical, on-the-ground component, will support the development of a roadmap for India and Bangladesh. The roadmap will focus on the integrated and inclusive management of two, water-related economic sectors: inland navigation, and fishing-based livelihoods.

Expected Outputs:

  • Regional CSO vision for cooperative transboundary water resource management in GBM:

The project will facilitate a series of capacity building and dialogue events to develop the vision. This includes one Regional Water Governance workshop in November 2016, followed by two additional workshops in March 2017 and July 2017.

  • Roadmap for sustainable transboundary inland navigation and fisheries management between Bangladesh and India: 

For the development of a roadmap the project will facilitate two Bangladesh-India Joint Dialogues, to be held in November 2016 and May 2017. Between the two dialogue events, the project will facilitate one joint research on integrated inland navigation and fisheries management; and four community consultations to gather data to develop the roadmap. The roadmap will be designed to serve as a guidance document for those interested in the inclusive and environmentally sound development of inland navigation and will provide common points of reference around which cross-border communities can cooperate with each other. 

The project will organise a dissemination workshop in August 2017 with all project stakeholders, with a focus on government officials and media personnel.       

Donor: The Asia Foundation


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