The Meghna River Basin is shared by India and Bangladesh need more policy approach 

Shillong, Sept 19: The webinar was co-hosted by IUCN and Asian Confluence, on 17 Sept 2020. More than 50 participants from India, Bangladesh and Nepal participated on the Webinar. This was final webinar series in of three part webinar series on Barak-Meghna river basin.

The webinar presented a comparative review of natural resource management policies in Bangladesh and India, in the Barak-Meghna Basin. The study was facilitated by IUCN and Indian Environment Law Organization (IELO), Delhi. The Meghna Basin has more than 60 different policy instruments for the management of natural resources, including water, biodiversity, fisheries and forests. The experts at the webinar highlighted the need for more integrated policy approach for the management of the Barak-Meghna River Basin.

The review indicates a need for a more coordinated approach to policy and planning in both Bangladesh and India. Often, different sectors tend to work in silo, not communicating with others working on similar issues, thus preventing the development of a cohesive strategy at the basin or national levels,” said Mr. Shawahiq Siddiqui, Partner, Indian Environment Law Organization (IELO) , (Delhi) and Supreme Court Lawyer.

Although the Indian state of Meghalaya receives the highest rainfall in the world, more than 50% of villages are experiencing water scarcity during the dry season. Recognising the interconnectedness of water and the need to strengthen community engagement in integrated water resource management, the state government created the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority,” said Mr. Sampath Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Meghalaya River Basin Development Authority, Shillong, India.

He shared, “the authority aims to coordinate the actions of different agencies to support local livelihoods. The MBDA has initiated several community-based livelihoods programmes. It aims to engage communities in the management of forests and other landscape based natural resources within the state.”

The Meghna River Basin is shared by India and Bangladesh. The Meghna Basin is notable for the number of transboundary tributaries. At least 29 named rivers flow into the Bangladesh from India, such as the Umiam River originating from Umiam Lake (also known as Barapani Lake) north of Shillong in the Indian state of Meghalaya; and the Khowai River that originates in the eastern part of the Atharamura Hills of Tripura.





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