Science communication for water diplomacy in the Brahmaputra

  • Research & Development
  • 90.915 project budget
  • Feb 2020 - Jun 2021
  • Donor: Stichting IHE Delft
  • Donor Programme: DGIS - UNESCO-IHE Programmatic Coorperation II
South Asia
South Asia

The Brahmaputra Dialogue (BD) initiative aims to bring cooperation among the basin nations through identifying and working on cross cutting themes, and has been ongoing since 2013, beginning as a bilateral dialogue between India and Bangladesh and then moving into a multi-track and multilateral dialogue with the inclusion of China and Bhutan as well. While stakeholder involvement has been from the academic community, civil society and policy makers, one of the crucial elements missing in the BD initiative is the involvement of media, due to certain associated fears. Policy makers tend to be on their guard, scientific communities do not want to share their research, and even donor organizations are often skeptical of the media due to the fear of being misquoted. The lack of trust among these various stakeholders has led to non-involvement of media in any dialogue related to the Brahmaputra. Although there have been efforts by media network platforms like The Third Pole to build capacity of both the media and the scientific community for better communication, they are not specifically concentrated on the Brahmaputra basin. The project aims to bridge this gap by bringing the water scientists (multiple disciplines) and media on one platform to facilitate water diplomacy in the Brahmaputra Basin. This project will engage with key media personnel at local, national and regional levels to discuss various aspects of the basin. The media-science dialogues will play a crucial role in building capacity and disseminating accurate information among the stakeholders for well informed and responsible reporting. It will reflect on the broader question toward shared water issue of “are media and science part of the problem or part of the solution?” through multiple research objectives mentioned in the following section.

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