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Asia Foundation to Host Transboundary Water Management Session at International River Symposium

New Delhi, August 29, 2016 — On September 14,  2016, The Asia Foundation will host  a special session on ‘Civil society and transboundary water management experiences from South and South East Asiaat the International River Symposium hosted by the International River Foundation in New Delhi from September 12-14, 2016. The event will feature the Foundation’s Senior Program Officer Mandakini Devasher Surie; Ajaya Dixit, President, ISET-Nepal; Socheata Sim, Oxfam Mekong Regional Water Governance Program; Anamika Baruah, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology; and Uttam Kumar Sinha, Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis.

river flier

Asia’s major rivers – from the Ganges and Brahmaputra to the Mekong and Salween – have defined the geography, history, and culture of countries in the region for centuries and are critical to economic growth, food and energy security, and sustainable development within the region. However, much of the debate on transboundary water issues in countries in the region has been led by governments with limited space for civil society engagement.

To address these important issues, the moderated panel discussion will bring together civil society practitioners and public policy experts from South and South East Asia. The panel will discuss the ways in which civil society engagement on water-related issues in the region has and can play a constructive role in fostering improved management and regional cooperation on water. Some of the core questions the panel will seek to address include:

  • The role that civil society has and can play in the current nature of the discourse.
  • Reflections on civil society’s role in transboundary water management in South Asia versus Southeast Asia.
  • Impediments to constructive engagement by civil society and how civil society can be seen as a trusted partner.
  • The appropriate level (regional, national, sub-national) and domain (science, politics, culture, etc.) of engagement for civil society.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work and our report examining barriers to information-sharing in South Asia, a highly water-stressed region.

To learn more about the International River Symposium and register for the session log on to

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Related locations: India
Related programs: Environment and Climate Action
Related topics: Water, Water Resource Management

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Amy Ovalle, Vice President, Global Communications
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Eelynn Sim, Director, Media & Strategy
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