Strengthening the science policy interface for the integrated management of the Basin
Date: 4 to 6 May 2020
Venue: North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India
A scientific symposium, the Meghna Knowledge Forum (MKF) 2020 aims to provide a learning exchange platform on shared water governance issues in the Meghna Basin linked to Natural Resource Management (NRM) and community inclusion. It will bring together more than 100 policymakers, researchers, civil society organisations (CSOs) and private sector representatives working in the Meghna basin, as well the international experts on transboundary water resource management. The Forum will also facilitate the engagement of youth and women leaders from Bangladesh and India.
About the Meghna Basin
The Meghna river basin is shared by Bangladesh and India. It is one of the most biodiverse and culturally rich basins in Asia. It originates in the hills of Manipur (India), where it is referred to as the Barak River. As it flows southwest, the river splits into the Surma River and the Kushiyara River at the Bangladesh-India border. The confluence of the Surma and Kushiyara rivers in Bhairab Bazar, Bangladesh forms the Meghna River, which flows south into the ocean in the Bay of Bengal.
The ecosystem services provided by the Meghna Basin directly support the livelihoods of more than 50 million people, including indigenous communities such as the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia. However, the basin’s ecosystem has been degraded due to increasing population, developmental pressure and impacts of climate change. Therefore, the implementation of joint solutions and basin level integrated management approaches are needed to address the water governance challenges in the Meghna Basin.
MKF 2020 Objectives
Co-convened by IUCN and the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, the MKF 2020 will strengthen multistakeholder connections to advance collaborative efforts for the integrated management of the Meghna Basin.
The MKF 2020 will include presentations of ongoing researches in the Basin and will facilitate discussion on themes such as “knowledge based water governance”, “community based research”, and “translation of research outcomes in shared water governance policy and planning.”
Main events during the Forum:
- Thematic Plenary Sessions: Panel discussions and presentation of technical papers on specific themes linked to water governance issues and challenges in the Meghna Basin
- Side events: Parallel sessions facilitated by key government agencies, research institutions and civil society organisations, demonstrating technical solutions and community based strategies to address key water governance issues in the Basin
- Knowledge Fair: Photo exhibition, poster presentations, knowledge booths and screening of films produced by young researchers and/or by women from India and Bangladesh on the Meghna issues
MKF 2020 will support the identification of key knowledge gaps, and the development of potential partnerships to address these gaps. High-level government representatives will be invited to attend the event. The learning outcomes of the forum will be consolidated in a Symposium Book with abstracts and summaries for wider dissemination. Local media organisations will also be invited to help disseminate the knowledge presented at the forum.