GUWAHATI, June 15 - The Brahmaputra river basin in South Asia is home to 130 million people and is one of the most critical transboundary river systems. However, the absence of integrated management of water resources and lack of coordination among the riparian States pose a considerable threat to the future development plans within the basin. The basin houses and involves different stakeholders including communities, governments, NGOs, research academicians, media and many more. Building communication and knowledge across these stakeholders can help in promoting effective governance in the basin.
While NGOs and communities� concerned play a vital role, there is a distinct gap in communication among the stakeholders, along with a keen knowledge asymmetry. Generating new knowledge as well as dissemination of existing knowledge play a vital role in building capacity for effective transboundary water management. While knowledge is the key, there is also a need to enhance skills for effective negotiation, advocacy and communication to address the language and form in which issues are shared across government and non-governmental arenas.
To bridge the existing knowledge gaps, build information linkages and skills, a workshop on �Developing skill and knowledge � training workshop on the transboundary Brahmaputra River� was organised by Saci WATERs and Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES), in Guwahati on June 13 and 14. This training is part of a larger endeavour titled, �Transnational Policy Dialogue for Improved Water Governance of the Brahmaputra River,� initiated in 2013 by South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (Saci WATERs) with the aim to create a platform for the discussion of the issues, challenges and opportunities towards improved co-management of the river basin.
The training workshop involved around 25 participants from CSOs and community leaders (with the emphasis on women) from both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The training involved interactive session on technical aspects including river flows, biodiversity and watershed management of Brahmaputra by experts such as Prof Abani K Bhagabati (Gauhati University), Dr Sanchita Boruah (Dibrugarh University), Dr Arup Kr Sarma (IIT-Guwahati). Understanding dialogue processes and its capacity for building perspectives for collaborative action on rivers was shared by Dr Anamika Barua (IIT-Guwahati), Panchali Saikia (IWMI), Dr Sushmita Mondal (International Water Association).
Media perspectives on rivers along with how media can connect with realities of communities were deliberated with mediapersons. Legal information on Brahmaputra along with rights and laws on rivers was shared by Shawahiq Siddiqui (India Environmental Law Organization). Lastly, best practices on disasters were shared along with deliberation on how such best practices can be adopted by local NGOs involving Manik Boruah (C-NES), Rachna Yadav (IIT-Guwahati), Dr Jumyir Basar (Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal) and Juri Baruah (Aaranyak).
This was stated in a press release.