The Upper Veda Project involves a dam that would submerge 14 villages. Opposing the project, the affected communities took action and urged for alternative solutions. The dam was eventually constructed, but the process was characterised by conflicts between the project authorities and the communities. This case illustrates that dam projects, which directly affect the livelihoods of large numbers of people, need to have developed a well defined rehabilitation plan prior to construction.
Jharkhand is a new state, established in 2000, to support the rights of indigenous people to have a separate state for themselves. Jharkhand is home to many of the country’s poorest people, despite the city being located in one of the richest areas of India in terms of minerals and natural resources. Agriculture, as the sole economic activity in the area, has not been properly developed (e.g. water facilities are poor and access to upgraded and modern agriculture-based knowledge is limited) and the land is prone to severe droughts, marked only by erratic rainfalls. Therefore, starvation and malnutrition of its citizens is widespread.
To improve the state of the Balikpapan Bay coastal ecosystem, a coastal zone management project was initiated. After initial project failure, action was taken for policy reform and an adaptive management approach was developed, focusing on inter-agency integration. This case illustrates the importance of active project learning and adaptive management.
The Tsurumi River Basin, located in the suburbs of Tokyo, extends over an area of 235 km2 and a river length of 42.5km. The Tsurumi River Basin is regarded as one of the most important and representative river basins in Japan. The basin was largely developed by the rapid urbanization since the 1960s.
Water management in Kazakhstan was previously characterised by a command and control approach. The Water Code was adopted in 2003 as an answer to these problems. Furthermore, a project was launched to evaluate the current state of the legal framework for IWRM and to identify the potential for improvements and propose amendments to the Water Code. It is evident that IWRM is a complex approach and any amendments need to be done holistically.
In Kazakhstan, the issue is not one of scarcity but of management, a problem that can be solved through applying the principles of IWRM. The government of Kazakhstan consequently initiated a water resources management project aiming at strengthening water management organisations and by instituting the practice of IWRM. In this process, training, workshops and dialogues both within and outside the water sector are crucial.
In Kyrgyzstan, lack of drinking water and access to sanitation is a pressing problem which reinforces social vulnerability and poverty. Financed by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, actions have been taken to improve access to drinking water and sanitation by the Ministry of Health. These projects had a high level of community involvement which increased the sense of ownership.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) faces considerable challenges in the delivery of sustainable and equitable access to sanitation in rural areas. Small steps have been taken towards increasing national ownership of and political commitment to sanitation in Lao PDR. As a lesson learnt; there is no one blueprint for progress in sanitation delivery. Services can be delivered in different ways– e.g. household investment or direct programmatic efforts.
The development of hydropower in the Mekong River basin can bring great economic opportunities for Laos. However, since this basin is shared with neighbouring countries, cooperation is crucial. Action was taken and the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin was signed to coordinate the use of these resources for economic development. For Laos, this has been crucial to their success in regards to the MDGs.