Water in South Asia: together against climate change

Strengthening regional water cooperation in South Asia is essential, in order to prevent the expected climate changes in this region from intensifying conflict.

15/04/2011

As a contribution to the India Water Forum 2011 “The Energy and Resources Institute” (TERI) and adelphi organised a roundtable entitled “Water, Climate Change and Conflicts in South Asia”. The event, which took place on 14 April, brought together high-ranking decision-makers and experts from India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The discussions - moderated by former minister and current member of the Indian Parliament, Suresh Prabhu - focused on potential collaboration in the field of climate and water. TERI Director and chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra K. Pachauri, also highlighted the importance of transboundary cooperation in his key-note speech “Political boundaries are purely artificial in the light of what water means to ecosystems and humans”.

The subsequent discussion showed that access to, and availability of, critical water and climate related information is difficult even at a national level. In this context Dennis Taenzler and Lukas Ruettinger, both adelphi, shared lessons learned from other transboundary cooperation experiences, as well as further recommendations from the European discussion on a conflict and crisis preventing climate policy.

The dialog will be continued through further exploring the connections between climate change, water supply, conflict and cooperation in South Asia, and will be supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

You can find further information on the roundtable and the Indian Water Forum here: http://www.teriin.org/events/iwf/index.php