Speakers at an international conference here on Saturday laid emphasis on transnational policies for water governance in the South Asia.
The two-day conference on key water issues titled ‘Himalaya Water Conference 2019: Highland-Lowland Interactions’ began seeking a solution to water crisis that looms large over the countries in the Himalayan region.
Executive director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies Atiq Rahman, Professor Emeritus BRAC University Ainun Nishat, ambassador of Germany to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz, resident representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation, New Delhi Volker Lennart Plan and BCAS fellow Abu Syed spoke at the inaugural session.
Over 60 environmental scientists, policymakers, academics and development practitioners from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and China are participating in the conference jointly hosted by Hanns Seidel Foundation, Delhi and the BCAS.
Atiq said a food, water and energy nexus was of utmost significance to achieve sustainable development goals and rapid poverty alleviation in South Asia, which were being severely threatened by the impacts of global climate change.
Professor Nishat highlighted the importance of water sharing and efficient management of trans-boundary water in the region with the emerging approach of basin-wise planning and management of huge water resources in the Himalayan region to benefit the countries with hydropower generation, navigation facilities and disaster management in the context of climate change.
Volker L Plan said lives were interconnected across the boundaries through mountains, rivers and water in South Aisa.
‘Water governance and environmental politics now play a huge role in the regional and global development issues. Therefore, we need transnational policies which shall reflect our knowledge and influence the national policies and practices.’
Ambassador Peter said the Himalayan region is currently confronted with unprecedented challenges.
He said climate change will incur huge economic, environment, social and political costs.
The ambassador said peace, prosperity and sustainable development was to be ensured through protection, conservation and sharing of water and environment in the region.
The purpose of the conference was to derive knowledge and insights from the leading scientists, experts and policymakers from South Asian countries and China on hydrological patterns, changes in ecology, population dynamics, challenges for socioeconomic development and potentials for trans-boundary water sharing in the Himalayan region.
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