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Home > Announcements > Events > CPWF Ganges Projects Gather To Discuss Emerging Results, Chart Path Ahead

CPWF-Ganges held a reflection workshop in Dhaka on November 12 and 13 to discuss key findings and messages emerging from the program. CPWF’s projects in the Ganges focus on issues of concern to communities living in the brackish water coastal zones of Bangladesh and India.

GBDC Reflection Nov 13The Ganges coastal zone is home to some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, whose livelihoods are exposed to rising sea levels, tidal surges, increasing surface-water and soil salinity, and a growing incidence of severe cyclonic storms. Five CPWF projects are working collectively to address the Ganges Basin Development Challenge (Ganges BDC): ‘to reduce poverty and improve regional social-ecological resilience through improved water governance and management, and intensified and diversified agricultural and aquaculture systems in brackish water of the coastal Ganges.

The Ganges BDC works with a variety of existing and potential stakeholders, ranging from farmers, local and national government, local and national institutes and a various policy makers. The objective is to enhance impact through stakeholder participation, policy dialogue and effective coordination with and amongst the Ganges BDC projects. As such, communication both within and outside the program is essential.

This meeting served as an important opportunity to:

  1. Reflect on outputs and progress to date in GBDC research efforts and plans through the end of 2014;
  2. Share and validate emerging messages for broader dissemination [PPT];
  3. Identify target groups for messages and the appropriate modes of delivery for each group; and
  4. Discuss potential avenues for support and/or integration into other programs, including CGIAR Research Programs, after the Ganges BDC has concluded.

Project staff and partners, as well as government, private sector, CGIAR and donor community representatives attended the meeting.

Project updates were presented by each of the five Ganges BDC projects. View one presentation by the Ganges project on ‘Resource profiles, extrapolation domains and land-use patterns’ (G1) below. All other presentations may be viewed on CPWF’s Slideshare account.

Discussion sessions held throughout the workshop solicited input and feedback on the direction of the program’s research, messages and approach to disseminating findings. One major discussion centered on the need to differentiate polder management at different levels (community, sub-polder and polder level) in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Participants also discussed the need to examine transboundary and water flows/water allocation between India and Bangladesh. The issue of climate change and the resulting increase in frequency of natural disasters was also brought up, in light of the recent hurricane in the Philippines. The Ganges coastal zone will need to identify ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.

BRAC, the Ganges BDC local outreach and dissemination partner, also presented on its efforts to disseminate agriculture/aquaculture technologies to targeted coastal communities. In the coming year BRAC with work to engage with a number of development actors and scale out Ganges BDC research findings. The possibility of forming Research and Extension Support Teams (REST), made up of local-level stakeholders was also discussed. The meeting concluded with presentations from the new CGIAR Research Projects on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) and Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). AAS expressed interest in sharing the results and products produced by CPWF and WLE at its future Knowledge Sharing and Learning Center, a space Khulna, Bangladesh that will provide information to the people living or working in the coastal zone.

The Ganges BDC has recently received an extension to continue its work through the end of 2014. As the program moves into its final year, discussions are underway for potential opportunities to carry forth the work of the Ganges BDC. Identification of possible funding sources and areas of programmatic collaboration were discussed with both WLE and AAS. There is ongoing discussion on creating a partnership fund for 2014.