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: July 2016 – August 2026 (BRIDGE GBM is currently in phase III)

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. Most CSOs, however, 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.

Regional cooperation among the CSOs can catalyse cooperation at higher level between governments of the GBM nations. CSOs have the benefit of informal and formal knowledge sharing, and the capacity to enhance decision-making and implementation frameworks by supporting their respective governments.

The BRIDGE GBM project, facilitated by IUCN, aims to build the capacity of a network of CSOs in the GBM region to enhance their engagement in transboundary water management issues. The BRIDGE GBM project falls under the umbrella of the global Building River Dialogue and Governance (BRIDGE) programme. 

Objectives of the project: 

  1. Strengthen the capacity and "voice" of CSOs to catalyze regional water cooperation for long-term economic growth and livelihood security in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Basin
  2. Improve government policies and practices at all levels related to water resource management, and to make these policies and practices inclusive of community concerns and meet national and international standards

Gender is a cross-cutting objective. As part of the project, IUCN is promoting women leadership development at regional dialogues and capacity building platforms.

Outputs until December 2021

Please visit BRIDGE GBM IUCN Water and Nature platform for more news about the project 


Phase I (July 2016 to October 2017): Funded by The Asia Foundation

Phase II (October 2017 to March 2022): Funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the Oxfam’s Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) Programme

Phase III (January 2022 to August 2026): The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), US State Department; and The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Relevant documents: