Indian water expert Jayanta Basu on Friday suggested taking nature-based negotiation approach to address the long-pending Teesta water sharing dispute.
"Between India and Bangladesh, there is no holistic basin-based approach although both the countries share 54 transboundary rivers. A holistic basin-based approach is needed to be taken," he said while presenting a paper titled ‘eopolitics of River Teesta and need to pursue Nature-based Negotiated Approach (NBNA)' on the second day of three-day 7th International Water Conference 2022 being held virtually.
Jayanta Basu, an environment documentation expert and the director of Environment Governed Integrated Organisation (EnGIO), said the Nature Based Negotiated Approach to Integrated River Basin Management
(IRBM) is key in addressing the water conflicts like Teesta.
He said the South Asian transboundary river issues are linked to regional geopolitics as all the countries in the region strongly depend on rivers mainly for agriculture, hydroelectricity and other reasons.
Unequal political power positioning in the region; influence of international, national, and local political relationships; rivers and climate change are the vital factors in regional geopolitics, the Indian water expert said.
Jayanta, also a teacher of Calcutta University, said upper riparian verses lower riparian country narrative does not hold water in such a dynamic water sharing paradigm and proposed for the holistic inter-country stakeholder level discussion to arrive at a comprehensive transboundary river water usage model.