The negative impacts of climate change and urbanization on water security in South Asia are escalating. Their combined effects are increasingly being felt in peri-urban areas, which tend to bear the burden of intensifying water and land pressures associated with urbanization. But, even as processes of climate change and urbanization are raising concerns related to water and land security and equitable distribution of scarce natural resources for peri-urban centres, critical knowledge gaps still persist.
A consortium of north-south institutions brings together experience, skills and know-how in research, capacity-building and knowledge generation in its project Climate Policy, Conflicts and Cooperation in Peri-Urban South Asia: Towards Resilient and Water Secure Communities. This collaborative endeavour, spanning four years and four cities (Khulna in Bangladesh, Kathmandu in Nepal, and Gurgaon and Hyderabad in India), seeks to fill two major knowledge gaps by researching:
How urbanization and climate change interact in inducing water insecurity in specific settings, creating potential for conflict or even cooperation
How current water, climate change and other relevant policies influence the potential for water‐related cooperation and conflict
The project evaluates how the processes of climate change and urbanization are creating growing problems of water insecurity in the peri-urban areas of these four rapidly expanding cities. It seeks to improve mutual learning, strengthen institutional and community capacities to optimally manage water insecurity, and bolster resilience. It also aims to support and empower communities to effectively use, manage and govern their water resources against a backdrop of water insecurity caused by the dual impact of climate change and urbanization.
The project aims to produce and share innovative knowledge on peri-urban water security in South Asia, with the twin objective to influence climate change policies and enhance the resilience of peri-urban communities through improved cooperation and decreased conflicts around peri-urban water security. The overall aim is to create opportunities for improved livelihoods for the poor and marginalised, women and ethnic groups, and to craft climate smart strategies and actions at the local, national and regional levels.
Firstly, the project will evaluate and compare the changing insecurities, vulnerabilities, incidences of conflict, and options for cooperation associated with climate change and urbanization as experienced in the peri-urban areas of the selected cities. Building on this, it will assess the effects of water, climate and other relevant policies on resource-related conflict and cooperation in peri-urban water resources.
Secondly, through collaborative efforts between scientists, policy-makers, NGOs, private enterprises and local stakeholders, the project will foster community resilience and help devise pathways for increasing water security through equitable and sustainable institutional transformations. This will hopefully yield new frameworks and tools for generating understanding on conflict and cooperation, sensitizing public opinion and creating an appropriate policy mix to reduce risk-exposure.
Thirdly, the project engages in ‘south-south’ and ‘north-south’ capacity-building of the consortium partners, of the stakeholders involved in peri-urban water security issues, and of the academic world, through the development of academic curricula and training materials that explicitly deal with peri-urban areas. The project aims to build the critical development capacity of communities by providing them platforms for dialogue with service providers to improve service delivery and to better articulate their rights to water and other utilities besides enhancing their livelihood skills to increase adaptive capacity in the face of climate change and urbanization.
Knowledge, Research and Innovation
The project seeks to identify and analyse the dynamics that give rise to conflict or promote cooperation...Learn More
The project strives to inform climate‐, water‐ and urban policy implementation processes...Learn More
The project aims to increase the consortium partners’ collective ability in studying...Learn More
The data as well as cases of conflicts collected through this study will be uploaded in the website of ‘Forum of Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India’, a web network, which documents water conflicts under the aegis of the India Water Portal, for larger outreach.
Local linkages in Kathmandu have been established with the UN Habitat’s Water for Asian cities programme. Project partner International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) will drive broader interactions with high‐level officials in South Asia on the twin issues of climate change and water insecurity.
Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC), have provided support to the partners of this project, through its Climate Change and Water programme, in disseminating research findings and networking with policy makers at an international level. Finally, the research will be embedded through a feedback mechanism that translates research knowledge into curriculum development and learning materials (e.g., case studies, e‐learning courses, modules for post graduate studies), to be used by both South Asian university partners and Wageningen University.
Get in Touch
Dr. Dik RothGeneral Scientific Coordinator
Dr. Poulomi BanerjeeRegional Coordinator