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Elevating river basin management and cooperation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region: The Brahmaputra River Basin


Zoom (Online)

Date & Time

28 July 2022


Vijay Khadgi

About the event

With the Australian Water Partnership (AWP), we are implementing the project, ‘Elevating river basin governance and cooperation in the HKH region’, with the aim to strengthen transboundary river basin management arrangements and enhance cooperation between the major river basins with headwaters originating in the HKH region.

As part of the project, we are organising a series of three semi-structured knowledge exchange dialogues, with one dialogue for each of the three focus basins – Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra River basins. This dialogue will focus on the Brahmaputra River basin.

The project will also be producing basin assessment reports for the Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Indus basins, describing emerging practices for overcoming barriers to effective and inclusive transboundary river basin management and climate challenges, and providing recommendations for strengthening river basin cooperation and resilience.



  • Share practical examples of enhanced basin management (decision-making processes, tools, policies, and best practices) from across and beyond the HKH region that support improved transboundary river basin management within individual basins. This may include exemplary groups and collaborations such as committees and commissions.
  • Stimulate forward-looking discussions on further potential opportunities for collaboration to enhance river basin management, in support of ICIMOD as an enabler of the HKH Call to Action (especially Action 1 – Regional cooperation).


Partners and resource persons

Ganges River basin – Aither and Philippus Wester, ICIMOD

Brahmaputra River basin – Institute for Study and Development Worldwide (IFSD) and Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD

Indus River basin – eWater and Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD


Tentative agenda

Time (NPT) Session Speakers
09:30–09:40 Welcome and introduction Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD

Sarah Ransom, General Manager, AWP

09:40–10:00 Setting the context for the knowledge exchange dialogue Huw Pohlner, Associate Director, Aither

Neera Shrestha Pradhan, Programme Coordinator, Koshi Basin Initiative – River Basins and Cryosphere, Senior water and Adaptation Specialist, ICIMOD

Hemant Ojha, Principal Advisor, IFSD

10:00–11:00 Panel I: Information and knowledge sharing to identify national-scale priorities, policies, practices, and barriers for river basin management


Chen Ningsheng, Professor, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Ugyen Lhendup, Executive Director, WATER-Bhutan, Bhutan

Shri Rajiv Yadav, Chairman, Brahmaputra Board, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India

Golam Rasul, Expert, Bangladesh

Moderator: Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD

Discussant: Anamika Barua, Professor, IIT Guwahati


11:00–11:15 Break
11:15–12:15 Panel II: Opportunities for strengthening transboundary river basin management in the Brahmaputra Basin


Rob Vertessy, Principal, Global Change Advisory

Thanapon Piman, Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute

Bushra Nishat, Environmental Specialist, South Asia Region Environment (SSAEN) unit, World Bank

Partha Jyoti Das, Head, ‘Water, Climate & Hazard Division’ Aaranyak

Moderator: Hemant Ojha, IFSD

Discussant: Shahbaz Khan, Director, UNESCO Jakarta Office

12:15–12:25 Summary of outcomes Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD

Jeff Camkin, IFSD

12:25–12:30 Closing remarks and next steps Arun Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD

Rohan Kent, Program Lead, AWP


Rajiv YadavRajiv Yadav is the Chairperson of the Brahmaputra Board, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India. He served as Deputy Commissioner of Nalbari and Chairman of Assam State Electricity Board. He retired as Union Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, in January 2018. As Chairperson of the Brahmaputra Board, Yadav works on the development and utilisation of water resources of the Brahmaputra.
Ugyen LhendupUgyen Lhendup is the Executive Director of WATER Bhutan, a civil society organization in Bhutan. He has over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, natural resource management, project management, and community development. Lhendup has a long association with the Global Water Partnership and serves as the Country Coordinator and Regional Council Member of Bhutan Water Partnership.


Anamika BaruaAnamika Barua, Professor at IIT-Guwahati, is an expert in climate change and water security, ecological footprint, virtual water flows through trade, and transboundary water governance. She led the Transnational Policy Dialogue for Improved Water Governance of the Brahmaputra River, bringing together many stakeholders from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and China to discuss transboundary water governance.
Golam Rasul featuredGolam Rasul, former Chief Economist at ICIMOD, has contributed to over 150 papers and was a coordinating lead author of the IPCC Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere. He has research experience in conflict and cooperation in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin.


Chen NingshengChen Ningsheng, Professor, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, has published over 100 papers, focusing mostly on physical geography and impacts of river hazards. He is currently working on a project on hazard mitigation in the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zhangbo River.



Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD

Hemant Ojha

Hemant Ojha, IFSD