Venue: Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi
Through the centuries, many great river systems originating from the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan Mountains have sustained the lives and livelihood of people in South Asia, Southeast Asia and China. Mighty rivers like the Yangtze, Huang He, Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Irrawady, Salween, Mekong, Amu Darya and Syr Darya originate from this high-altitude plateau, flowing through numerous Asian countries. Scientific evidence points towards an increasing impact of global warming, causing glacial melting and other water-related challenges in many parts of the world, including Asia. The combined effects of natural and human-induced fluctuations in weather patterns are expected to lead to increased flooding, droughts, destruction of crops and habitations, and displacement. South Asia will be particularly vulnerable to these effects due to the “exponential function” of rapidly increasing population, growing food demand and dependency on water for irrigation and energy. The Food-Energy-Water (FEW) connect is thus critical, and river water is an important part of the equation.
With the increasing importance of transboundary river water in South and Southeast Asia, hydro-diplomacy can be seen as a new framework for regional cooperation, with opportunities for dialogue, consultation and data-sharing both between and within states. The objective of this conference is to assess the potential for dialogue and future mechansims for multilateral cooperation between three countries sharing important sources of river water: China, India and Bangladesh.
How can a comprehensive transboundary river water dialogue be structured?
What lessons can we learn from mechanisms for cooperation on other transboundary rivers, such as the Mekong River Commission?
How useful are international treaties, e.g. the UN Convention on Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997)?
Can civil society stakeholders play a constructive role in multilateral cooperation on transboundary river water management?
1000-1030: Opening Session
IDSA-PRIO Cooperation: Remarks by IDSA and PRIO directors
Inaugural Speech by Leela Ponappa former Deputy National Security Adviser
Chair: Ashild Kolas, PRIO
Water security in South Asia: Prospects for regional cooperation?
-- Uttam Sinha, IDSA, Delhi
Water challenges in South Asia
-- Rohan D’Souza, JNU, Delhi
The South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI)
-- Claudia Sadoff, World Bank, Bangkok
Upstream-downstream issues in integrated water resource management: Examples from India
-- Anshuman, TERI, Delhi
1200-1245: Open discussion
1245-1345: Lunch at the Taj Palace
Chair: Isabel Hilton, China Dialogue
The Brahmaputra River and its management: Views from Assam
-- Sarat Phukan and Santanu Barthakur, Department of Geology, Guwahati University
-- Eri Hangdan, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing
Water Towers in China: Changing Climate and a Changing Asia
-- Jianchu Xu, CGIAR, Nairobi
Water and Big Dams
-- Ramya Swayamprakash, JNU, Delhi
1510-1540: Open Discussion
Chair: Ambassador R. Rajagopalan
IUCN and the Transboundary River Water Dialogue
-- Niaz Ahmed Khan, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Bangladesh, Dhaka
China and Multilateralism: A Look at Water
-- Sujit Dutta, Jamia Milia Islamia
The Mekong River Commission: How does it work?
-- George Radosevich, Legal Expert, Mekong River Commission
How Chinese Media Views Water
-- Dr Bijoy Das, IDSA
1700-1730: Open Discussion
1930: Dinner at IDSA Lawns