The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has initiated a partnership project with the civil society and media communities of Bangladesh and Nepal for the sustainable energy transition in the Ganges River Basin.
To implement the project titled "Civil Society and Media: Partnership for the Sustainability of the Ganges River Basin," IUCN and The Asia Foundation have signed a contract.
The 15-month project has started in December last year with its main objective to strengthen civil society organisations' understanding of options and scenarios for energy and water resource development in the Ganges basin, and build partnerships between civil society and media outlets to promote sustainable and inclusive governance.
"For a sustainable energy transition, civil society and media community have a lot to contribute. They have the foresight to suggest with an option of the energy mix which would be better for the country in the long run," said Raquibul Amin, the country representative at IUCN Bangladesh chapter.
He was speaking at the first consultation meeting of the project held virtually on Tuesday with the participation of delegates from Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
Vishwa Ranjan Sinha, programme officer at IUCN Asia Regional Office, moderated the meeting.
Speakers at the consultation meeting said that there is increasing regional cooperation on energy among the countries sharing the Ganges River Basin, particularly Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
"Civil Society Organisations can strengthen transparency and inclusion in the investments in energy through broadcasting community voices and sharing data and local knowledge," one of them said.
In 2018, Bangladesh and Nepal signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy generation and trade. Regional energy treading initiative centring India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan is also in the making.
Among others, Courtney Weatherby, deputy director for the Southeast Asia Programme at The Stimson Center, spoke at the meeting.