On 1 March, over 100 experts from academia, policy-making, the BDP2100 team and NGOs joined us at the La Vita Hall of the Lakeshore Hotel in Gulshan for a Knowledge Agenda Round Table. The objective of the meeting was to formulate the Knowledge Agenda for the Delta Plan. In the context of the round table, Jos van Alphen, expert at the Dutch Delta Commissioner’s office, was present to give his input.
Since the scenarios have been developed and strategies for the future have been formulated, further questions emerge, regarding the assessment of future strategies, the understanding of the physical and governmental issues in the delta and their interaction. Therefore, there was a need to bring together the most prominent research questions for the future. Thus, the Delta Plan will define a Knowledge Agenda, in water-related areas for future research in Bangladesh.
The event began with an opening statement and a presentation from Professor Dr. Jaap de Heer. In his presentation, he explained how a preparatory group had selected nine key subjects for the Knowledge Agenda of the Bangladesh Delta Plan, namely: rivers and ecosystem, coast, flood management, finance, water for food, urban water management governance, climate change and adaptive water management. He emphasised that all these issues should be considered to develop the delta plan.
The Rivers and ecosystems table Chaired by Mr. Maimul Haque Sarker fro IWM, discussed what the consequences would be if the discharge of one of the major rivers were to diminish dramatically.
The Coast tablechaired by Mr. Zahirul Haque Khan, IWM formulated how strategies can be integrated to provide a simultaneous answer to the myriad challenges facing the coastal areas (e.g. salination, siltation, cyclones)
The Flood management team chaired by Mr. Abu Saleh Khan IWM discussedwhat level of safety against flooding for people, assets, agriculture and environment Bangladesh wants to provide in 100 years.
The Finance table chaired by Mrs. Tahmina Sahifque from Mott MacDonald discussed how to guarantee sufficient capital and recurrent resources to ensure a sustainable Bangladesh in 2100.
The Water for food table chaired by Mr. Z Karim from Mott MacDonald examined where food production areas would be in 100 years and how will water for food be available in order to ensure food security.
The Urban table chaired by Mrs. Farhana Ahmed from CEGIS analysed the trend of urban growth in the country and how would cities deal with water and related problems under different urbanization scenarios in 2100
The Governance tablechaired by Mr. Rafiqul Islam, BanDuDeltaS discussed Decentralization of delta governance.
The Climate change table Chaired by Dewan Abdul Quadir, Mott MacDonald, discussed the local and regional consequences of climate change on the scale of 50-100 years over the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Maghna cathcments.
The Adaptive water management team chaired by Mr. Saiful Alam from WARPO, studied how adaptive water management can be harnessed to achieve a sustainable Bangladesh in 2100?
After the sessions, water expert Maminul Haque Sarker of the Institute for Water Modelling (IWM) pointed out the intensity of the delta situation and added that in the coming decades, we may face many extreme scenarios in river systems due to human intervention as well as the climate change impact. River discharge variation may arise naturally or through human action. Water diversion upstream may create a low-discharge environment downstream, he said, adding that a low-discharge situation would have major impacts on river morphology, floodplains, ground-water and down-stream ecosystems.
As a final note, Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Project Director of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, brought up the importance of the Delta Plan. He talked about the effects of climate change and how the country is slowly becoming prone to disasters like flooding. He further explained that the Delta Plan was being formulated to tackle these particular issues for a more prosperous and sustainable delta.
The Knowledge Agenda of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 stands within a broader Knowledge Strategy to develop and disseminate delta knowledge and realize its use. Knowledge can be shared using a public web-based Information Portal – The Knowledge Portal, and incorporated in the Delta Plan’s capacity building program. Research and other knowledge-related projects can be included in the Delta Plan’s investment plan. The Knowledge Portal was also featured at the round table meeting.Leave a reply →