Asia

Ecosystems for Life (E4L)

Photo: © Sushmita Mandal

Project title: Ecosystems for Life (E4L)

Location: Bangladesh and India

Duration: 2010 – 2014

Project background: Bangladesh and India together have some of the most intricate and complex river systems in the world. There are over 50 rivers within this region; most of them flowing into the Bay of Bengal. This system of rivers, floodplains, canals, and water bodies is physically and intensively integrated. They are inseparable from the history and legends of the region, deeply influencing the people’s way of life and providing a fundamental resource to the mainly agrarian economy.

The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna (the region’s three major rivers), along with their tributaries, drain an area of about 1.75 million km2. The region is home to over half a billion people making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. A technical understanding of these river systems is vitally important to building effective strategies that can ensure sustainability of the ecosystems that can lead to an enhanced well-being of the people in the region.

The E4L project, facilitated by IUCN, is a civil society led multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes a better understanding of the management of water resources shared by Bangladesh and India. It seeks to develop a shared vision and understanding of food, livelihood and water security issues through a three tier collaborative approach involving: collaborative research and developing joint research-based policy options; creating a regional knowledge hub; and enhancing the capacity of civil society stakeholders in both countries to participate in the management of natural resources through dialogue.

Objectives of the project: The overall objective is to increase understanding of the values of ecosystems in the Bangladesh–India sub region using various dialogue processes. In doing so, the project will create avenues for informing decision making towards establishing a system of improved, integrated management of these ecosystems.

Outputs:

  • Dialogue processes established and research conducted on food security, water productivity and poverty; climate change; inland navigation; environmental security and biodiversity conservation in the Indo-Bangladesh region
  • Joint research initiatives conducted between the countries using common research framework
  • Region specific knowledge generated and disseminated towards improved understanding of trans-boundary water management issues
  • Comprehensive database established for trans-boundary knowledge resources
  • Policy options identified and shared for each of the dialogue areas
  • Comprehensive capacity building programme developed and implemented on food security, water productivity and poverty; climate change; inland navigation; environmental security and biodiversity conservation issues
  • Relevant stakeholders exposed to best practices in food security, water productivity and poverty; climate change; inland navigation; environmental security and biodiversity issues
  • Knowledge base and capacity on environmental flows research enhanced

Donor: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Partner: IUCN Species Survival Commission  

Work area: 
Climate Change
Ecosystems
Water
Location: 
Asia
Bangladesh
India
Project and Initiatives: 
Ecosystems for Life
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