News | 28 Jun, 2023

IUCN Call for Youth Participation: Meghna Water Futures Programme (2023-2026)

Are you under 35 years old and interested in promoting cooperative governance of water and natural resources in the Meghna River Basin? If so, we invite you to express your interest in participating in the design and implementation of the Meghna Water Futures Programme.

About the Meghna basin and IUCN activities:

The Meghna basin, shared by Bangladesh and India, covers 64,947 square km with 33% in Bangladesh and 66% in India. The Barak-Meghna river is  the last remaining free-flowing river in South Asia. The river plays a vital role in sustaining the lives and livelihoods of over 50 million individuals, including indigenous communities such as the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia.

The basin is facing significant water governance challenges due to increasing population pressures, the degradation of forests and wetlands, as well as the adverse impacts of climate change, including increasing drought and floods (MKF 2021). Despite the shared challenges between the two countries, the Meghna basin lacks a basin-level institution or cooperative governance strategy to jointly address the impacts of development and climate change.

Since 2018, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogues and joint research in the Meghna river basin to advance Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). For a quick overview of IUCN's work in the Meghna basin, please refer to the digital story, Meghna: River of Life for India and Bangladesh.

Meghna Water Futures Programme (WFP): 

Youth are the recipients of current water related policies and  decisions that will influence water availability and management in the future. However, they are often left out of decision-making processes. For water governance to be effective, IUCN recognises that youth values and perspectives must be present at the decision-making table.

To ensure  greater participation of youth in dialogues and actions related to the management of the Meghna basin, IUCN is initiating the development and implementation of the 3-year-long Meghna Water Futures Programme. The  Meghna WFP aims to:

Objective 1: Promote local youth participation in the Meghna basin dialogues and trainings facilitated by IUCN and partners, as well as, relevant global water and climate fora.

Objective 2: Develop and support a series of youth-led local/basin-level actions that address water governance/management challenges in the Meghna basin.

The Meghna WFP is supported by the following three initiatives,

  1. IUCN BRIDGE 5 - Building River Dialogue and Governance Greater (Cooperation through Water Diplomacy and Transboundary Water Management)
  2. IUCN Valuing Water Initiative – Youth Journey
  3. Oxfam Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) 2 Programme

Criteria for selection:

  • Applicants must be Bangladesh or India nationals and be under 35 years old as of July 2023.
  • Evidence of interest/experience on water governance issues, natural resources management and NbS (evidence of relevant past projects or activities, including any engagement with relevant youth and water governance networks) in the Meghna basin;  
  • Youth from indigenous communities and rural backgrounds in the Meghna river basin are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Proficiency in English language - ability to speak, understand and write in English.

To fill the application online, click HERE. Download filled-out application send with CVs (less than 5 MB) to the following IUCN email ID.

Last date of submission: Thursday, 10 August 2023 (5:00 pm Bangkok time)    

Please put the subject of the email as – Meghna WFP_YOUR NAME_COUNTRY.

To: Mr Tareq Aziz, Senior Programme Assistant,   

CC: Mr Vishwaranjan Sinha, Programme Officer,  

Participation in the Meghna WFP is voluntary, however, cost of participation in regional workshops and capacity building events will be covered by IUCN. 

Visit the BRIDGE GBM project page for details of IUCN activities in the Meghna basin and to download the knowledge products.