APPROACHES AND OBJECTIVES

The overarching objective of SAWI is to: increase regional cooperation in the management of the major Himalayan river systems in South Asia to deliver sustainable, fair and inclusive development and climate resilience.

In achieving this objective SAWI will adopt the following four guiding principles:

Principle 1: Water Resources Management – SAWI will promote an integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach encompassing adaptation to climate change.

Principle 2: Transboundary – SAWI will focus on enhancing transboundary cooperation in water resource management to deliver mutual benefits.

Principle 3: Inclusive and Multi-disciplinary – SAWI will engage the broadest possible range of perspectives in water management both across disciplines and across diverse stakeholders.

Principle 4: Participatory and Deliberative – SAWI will emphasize the importance of focused debate to pose questions and guide analyses and to ensure transparency, legitimacy and accountability.

The overarching program objective is supported by the objectives of each of the five Focus Areas (Table 1).

Table 1. Alignment of Focus Area Strategies with the SAWI program objectives.

Overall SAWI Objective

To increase regional cooperation in the management of the Himalayan river systems to deliver sustainable, fair and inclusive development and climate resilience

Indus Basin

Ganges Basin

Brahmaputra Basin

Sundarbans

 

To strengthen water resources management and coordination among riparian countries to improve water and energy security

To improve the shared understanding, management and development of the Ganges River Basin in order to support economic growth for the riparian countries and to support resilience to existing variability and climate change.

To improve shared understanding and management of the Brahmaputra River basin as means to strengthen resilience and support economic growth for the riparian countries

To operationalize joint management of the Sundarbans for sustainable development and to deliver mutual benefits for the two countries.

 

Cross-Cutting Knowledge, Dialogue and Cooperation

To build knowledge and capacity across the region in support of transboundary basin-focused dialogue and cooperation.

SAWI has four geographic Focus Areas (Indus Basin, Ganges Basin, Brahmaputra Basin, Sundarbans Landscape), which support a Cross-cutting Knowledge, Dialogue and Cooperation component (Figure 1).

Figure 1: SAWI program structure.

The stated objective and key components of the different focus area strategies are summarized below.

Indus Basin

Objective: strengthen water resources management and coordination among riparian countries to improve water and energy security.

Components

  1. Long-term basin development and investment planning

  2. Investments and capacity building for water and energy security

Ganges Basin

Objective: improve the shared understanding, management and development of the Ganges River Basin in order to support economic growth in riparian countries and support resilience to climate variability and change.

Components

  1. Valuing the environment and ecosystem services

  2. Moving from data to information services

Brahmaputra Basin

Objective: improve shared the understanding and management of the Brahmaputra River basin as a means to strengthen resilience and support economic growth for the riparian countries.

Components

  1. Knowledge and capacity building for basin management and investment planning

  2. Reducing vulnerability to flood and erosion

Sundarbans Landscape

Objective: operationalize joint management of the Sundarbans for sustainable development and to deliver mutual benefits for the two countries.

Components

  1. Enhancing bilateral cooperation

  2. Technical cooperation to support joint management

Cross-cutting Knowledge, Dialogue and Cooperation

Objective: build knowledge and capacity across the region and support of transboundary basin-focused dialogue and cooperation.

Components

  1. Knowledge-related activities

  2. Capacity building activities

  3. Dialogue processes