Shillong (Meghalaya), June 21 : IUCN and partners are organising a scientific symposium, the Meghna Knowledge Forum (MKF), from June 22 to June 24 .
This is the first ever Knowledge Forum on the Meghna river basin, shared by Bangladesh and India, and will start with a high level inaugural, on Tuesday at 10:30 am Dhaka or 10:00 am Delhi time.
The forum is designed as a virtual event and aims to provide a learning exchange platform on river and inclusive water governance issues in the Meghna river basin. It aims to facilitate partnerships to address knowledge gaps in the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Meghna river basin.
The forum discussions are structured around following three themes; 1) Geophysical and ecological diversity of the Meghna basin; 2) Cultural and socioeconomics of the Meghna basin; and, 3) Inclusive Governance of the Meghna basin.
More than 15 different partner organizations, including academic institutions, CSOs and media partners working in the Meghna river basin collaborated to conduct the forum.
The Meghna river basin is located in the northeastern part of India and Bangladesh, and it hosts a remarkably rich cultural and natural heritage;
It is estimated that more than 50 million people in Bangladesh and India depend on the ecosystem services provided by the basin, including indigenous forest dependent communities such as the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia; and the fishermen and farmers depending on the extensive wetlands (Haors)1 of Sylhet region in Bangladesh.
The basin includes a number of protected areas of high conservation value, including the Nokrek National Park in Meghalaya India, which is a haven of biodiversity and is listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The basin also includes two Ramsar sites, or wetlands of international significance, Tanguar haor and Hakaluki haor in Bangladesh.
Since 2018, IUCN with the support of Oxfam TROSA Programme funded by SIDA, has been facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues and joint research in the Meghna river basin, with the aim of strengthening the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in the basin through inclusive, basin-wide governance.