Rivers and Sustainable Development

Alternative Approaches and Their Implications

Rivers are a vital component of ecology-the earth's hydrological cycle depends on them. However, across the world, rivers are under stress and even in crisis. With rising populations, the demand for river water is increasing. Les mer
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Rivers are a vital component of ecology-the earth's hydrological cycle depends on them. However, across the world, rivers are under stress and even in crisis. With rising populations, the demand for river water is increasing. Many rivers fail to reach the sea because of excessive withdrawal of water, and many other rivers are heading toward the same fate. Conflicts over river water are increasing, and climate change is making matters worse. River policies pursued so
far are often aggravating these challenges rather than solving them. Yet, sustainable development requires healthy rivers. Urgent change in the approach and policies toward rivers is therefore required.

In this book, Nazrul Islam points to the ways in which river policies need to change to ensure sustainable development. He offers a new conceptual framework, using such concepts as the Commercial and Cordon approaches to rivers and their opposite, the Ecological and Open approaches. He shows that while the former generally work against sustainability, the latter are conducive to sustainable development. The book illustrates this reality by drawing upon worldwide experience regarding rivers.
Going forward, river policies therefore should be based on Ecological and Open approaches.

Islam argues further that the use of the new conceptual framework offered in this book can help to connect the river related discussion of experts with that of activists. It can thus help to move the discussion of river policies from the narrow confines of experts to the wider arena of the public, who should have a greater role in formulation of river policies in order to safeguard public interests and ensure sustainability. The book serves as a valuable guide for those interested in learning
about river policy changes necessary to promote sustainable development.

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