Raising Awareness and Capacity of Civil Society on Trans-Boundary Water Governance in Pakistan and India

Duration: 1st September 2016 – 30th August, 2017
Case Area: River Ravi [Stretch of approx. 600 km; Madhopur – Lahore as terminus point]
The project is a partnership between WWF-Pakistan, headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan and the South Asian University (SAU), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) funded institute based in Delhi, India. The project aims to raise awareness and build capacity of CSOs and relevant stakeholders, developing examples of areas adjoining to the stretch of River Ravi in both India and Pakistan (Madhupur to Lahore as terminus point). Choice of this geographic location is relevant because the stretch of the river equally demarcates and runs along the border of the two countries, and its tributaries are a recharge source of groundwater aquifers along its course, which would allow to discuss conjunctive use of surface and groundwater by communities. In addition this stretch feeds, into growing rural and urban population on both sides of the border, in particular Narowal, and Lahore districts in Punjab province in Pakistan, and areas of Himachal Pradesh, Gurdaspur, Amritsar in India. These areas face socio-economic challenges stemming from poor water management.

Project partners aim to mobilize and reach out to civil society cross-sectoral stakeholders through state or provincial level, national level workshop and a regional water conference. The project follows a need based bottom-up approach to highlight transboundary water issues at each level of engagement. The stakeholders for the project will represent CSOs, research and academia, water practitioners, selective media representatives, and relevant government official, with particular focus on gender disaggregation. These stakeholders will be engaged via exchange of knowledge and information, and their capacity will be built on transboundary water issues in both India and Pakistan. Some of these issues will include: surface and ground water challenges (such as groundwater over abstraction, surface water pollution, etc), socio-economic challenges (such as impacts on agricultural communities, household consumers, women and children etc.), and associated water governance issues.

The result of the project will be documented as policy brief that will capture narrative of both sides of the border. This narrative will inform on the challenges posed to the communities that need to be addressed by both sides of the government.

Overall, the project delivers on two outputs:

  • Collaborate, share knowledge, experiences and best practices on transboundary water issues
  • Build CSO awareness on the impacts and implications of transboundary water governance decisions and build their capacity to engage in transboundary water decision making processes.”