Different civil society organizations from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and its Tibetan region, who share the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin, took part in the discussion
Development initiatives should be undertaken keeping the preservation of natural resources in mind, speakers agreed at a meeting in Kathmandu yesterday.
Speaking at the discussion, they further said governments must take into consideration the knowledge and practices of the local people in a region when devising development projects, so that long-term benefits could be ensured.
The event, titled “Nature-based solutions in Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin,” was held in the Nepali capital, organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) under its global project titled “Building River Dialogue and Governance (BRIDGE).”
Different civil society organizations from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and its Tibetan region, who share the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin, took part in the discussion.
Dr Mukhleshur Rahman, executive director at the Center for Natural Resource Studies in Bangladesh, said: “Usually, we implement riverbank protection by building concrete structures to stop land erosion. This way, the riverbank is protected and the land is saved. But at the same time, it stops fish flow to the floodplain from the river during the monsoon floods.
“If we keep several gates in the concrete dam along the riverbank, the fish can migrate to the floodplain, which will ensure the availability of fish resources,” he added.
Tidal river management (TRM) in Bangladesh’s coastal region and bamboo bandalling in northern Bangladesh are two other major nature-based riverbank stabilization techniques which are also favourable to conserving natural resources.
Sheikh Rokon, general secretary of Riverine People, a voluntary organization that works for environment-friendly river management, said the Bangladesh government had recently recognized the bamboo bandalling method as a viable option to protect riverbanks, and is using the method to protect segments of riverbanks in the country's Jamalpur district.
In addition, these nature-based initiatives are also cost-effective as they use materials from nature, said Dr Haseeb Irfanullah, coordinator of IUCN Bangladesh.