Prof. Sangam Shrestha, a renowned expert in water resources management and climate change adaptation, participated in a panel discussion on “Transforming Water Governance: Breaking Boundaries for Water and Climate” on March 21, 2023. The global conversation was organized by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in New York, the United States of America which contributed to a collective Water Action Agenda of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference.
The panel discussion aimed to explore ways to transform water governance to address the complex challenges posed by climate change, improve inclusive participatory approaches, and the macroeconomic impacts around water and considered ecosystems. Panelists from different geographies and professional backgrounds discussed three action points: 1) fostering collaboration beyond the watershed, 2) maintaining ecosystem health and implementing the source-to-sea approach, and 3) increasing knowledge sharing and inclusive decision-making. The action points aim to promote sustainable water management and incorporate ecosystem needs, while addressing inequalities and including marginalized groups. Prof. Shrestha shared his insights and experiences from his research and teaching at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, where he is the Professor of the Water Engineering and Management Program and the Co-Director of the Global Water & Sanitation Center.
The panel discussion was attended by partners of SEI in previous and ongoing initiatives, such as Bolivia WATCH (WASH Thinking Connected to Hydrology, applied to three priority river basins in Bolivia—Upper La Paz, Pampa-Huari and Tupiza), Water Beyond Boundaries (with case studies in Colombia’s Magdalena-Cauca River basin and Thailand’s Lower Songkhram River, a tributary of the Mekong River), Rwanda’s hydro-economic and climate change analysis (HECCA) supported by the World Bank, USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity in Central Asia, SEI’s Strategy for the Ocean and Biodiversity, and ecosystem consideration in water planning and management in California.