Wednesday 3 March, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, Ziyun Hall

For this special session on lessons learned about water governance from the Building Effective Water Governance in the Asian Highlands project, we start with key reflections on regional water security by senior decision maker Nisar Memon, a member of the senate of Pakistan, and senior expert, Tong Jiang on socioeconomic scenarios. This is followed by key findings from case studies in three countries, and structured discussion in a thought-provoking way through information sharing, group discussion and creative thinking about solutions to problems in the Asian Highlands in the Anthropocene. How are governments responding to change? Are leaders and institutions pioneering new policies and programmes, struggling to adapt to new conditions, or attempting to maintain the status quo? These questions formed the heart of our work across three countries—China, Nepal and Pakistan—from the village to national to regional levels. We found clear international consensus on best practices for better water governance, but discovered that few such policies have been adopted in the Asian Highlands. We found striking similarities in both barriers against and bridges toward effective water governance even though conditions vary between and within countries. Locally, we discovered that while climate and socioeconomic changes are often rapid, governance responses to change have so far been slow. We will share some details of these lessons learned with you.

Chair: Bhim Adhikari and Ed Grumbine

Keynotes reflection:

  • Nisar A. Memon (Water Environment Forum, Pakistan): Water as reflection of regional security
  • Tong Jiang (China Climate Center): Climate change as driver for water insecurity

Key findings from case studies:

  • Jawad Ali (Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation): Key findings from Pakistan
  • Bikram Rana (Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation): Key findings from Nepal
  • Yufang Su (ICRAF): Key findings from China

Discussants: Sara Ahmed (Board member, WaterAid, India); Mats Eriksson (SIWI); John Dore (Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade); Dipak Gyawali (Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, NAST); Murali Kallur (IDRC) and other session participants.

Rapporteur: Jawad Ali (Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation)