The UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and the Department of Political Science, Government College University (Lahore) are jointly organizing a conference on “The Politics of Water Resources Governance in the Indus Basin”.
This conference, to be held on 9–10 January 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan, will explore critical perspectives on the politics of water in the Indus Basin (defined for the purposes of discussion as the natural watershed from Kabul in Afghanistan to the northwestern states of India and most of Pakistan’s territory, including Gilgit-Baltistan).
Since the independence of both Pakistan and India in 1947, the dominant discourse in understanding water-related issues has centered on a managerial–technocratic approach, which tends to depoliticize issues pertaining to water. Critical decisions concerning water distribution and management have generally been taken in the absence of a full-scale political participation of all stakeholders. Furthermore, water has played a significant role in the delineation of the social, political, and economic structures of Indus society.
Water scarcity is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the larger political agenda. Water is inextricably linked to the larger issues of food and energy security, and the environmental and social effects of climate change, with their related political challenges. It is fully recognized that water has a significant role to play in easing tensions and conflicts, stimulating cooperation, and ensuring economic and social development for sustainable long-term growth and human well-being.
This conference provides a timely opportunity to connect the nature of political discourse in the Indus Basin within the larger global context of water as a security concern, and to explore how water governance may affect political and regional stability and cooperation, and social and economic development.
For more information, see the conference announcement on the UNU-INWEH website.