Abu Dhabi Dialogue: 2008

Country-level dialogues – India: On 30 April 2008, a high level-group comprising Members of Parliament, policy makers, scientists, policy researchers, national and international civil society representatives, institution heads, businesses leaders, and independent water specialists met in New Delhi at Hotel Shangri-La. The subject of discussion - Rivers of the Greater Himalayas - was led by Mr. Suresh Prabhu (former Member of Parliament).

The Ministry of Water Resources of Nepal, Jalsrot Vikas Sanstha (JVS), and the Nepal Water Conservation Fund organized a country-level dialogue that took place on 16 May 2008 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The dialogue program’s theme was “Himalayan Water Resources,” and its purpose was to: 1) support the vision set forth by the ADDG, and 2) identify key issues related to climate change and water resources to be discussed in the 3rd Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD3). The dialogue focused on several issues, including: 1)the region’s physical and social vulnerabilities, 2) the need to enable livelihood diversification and support poverty alleviation initiatives through water management, 3) the challenges of climate change impacts on the regional hydrological systems (including data and scientific gaps), 4) the emerging constraints in the development, use, allocation and management of Himalayan Water Systems to achieve above objectives, and 5) the potential pathways of cooperation within and among countries to promote a knowledge-based partnership.

The Ministry of Water Resources of Bangladesh organized a national dialogue on “Prospect of the Rivers of the Greater Himalayas-Bangladesh’s Perspective” that took place from 16-17 June in Dhaka. As a result of group discussions, 11 recommendations were adopted and subsequently presented at the ADD3.

The ADD3 and the Abu Dhabi Knowledge Forum: The ADD3 was held from 23-27 June in Singapore. Its theme - “Moving Towards a Cooperative Knowledge Partnership”- focused on: 1) joint learning and, 2) working through differences. Throughout the meeting, the ADD3 focused on  two case studies that demonstrated European cooperation on international waters (e.g., the Danube River Basin and the Baltic Sea). The meeting discussed ideas for knowledge generation and potential cooperative programs. It also identified specific actions to strengthen ‘a cooperative and knowledge-based partnership of states.’ ADD3 participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan launched the Abu Dhabi Knowledge Forum, administered by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The Abu Dhabi Knowledge Forum, which convened more than 50 leading knowledge institutions from across the region, is a broad, inclusive forum focused primarily on knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. It is complementary to the relatively exclusive ADDG, whose goal is to generate opportunities for improving the wider policy-making environment.

Resources: Materials and presentations from the ADD3

Two political hemispheres...but one Sea and one River- Baltic Sea and Danube River Basin

From the most Romantic Sewer in Europe to a Living River- The Rhone Case