3rd Odisha River Conference at Baripada on 24th – 25 March, 2019

Baripada: Water Initiatives, Gram Swaraj and Vasundhara along with 35 partner organisations are organising the 3rd Odisha River Conference with the above theme in which around 200 people including those from basin communities, forest dwellers, farmers and fisher folks will participate along with civil society representatives, academicians, senior journalists, river and water experts from across the country.

The following are the key highlights of the Conference:

· 5 Technical Sessions >> 2 General Sessions >> 2 parallel special sessions on women and youth

· Similipal River Festival

· More than 200 people from riparian villages, forest dwellers, CSOs, INGOs, academics, experts and researchers to attend.

· Forest-river-communities nexus; community rights over forests and water; community participation and ownership over forest and river conservation; river basin level climate resilience; forest beyond carbon sink; youth participation in river conservation; women and water and a host of issues important for survival, rejuvenation and conservation of rivers and forests will be discussed.

· A community perspective of river and forest conservation framework for combating climate change will be proposed.

The Conference will focus on promoting the Forest-River-Communities nexus for Conservation of Rivers and Combating Climate Change and its discussions and recommendations will have impact in formulating better policy framework for conservation of rivers and forests by ensuring rights of the local and indigenous communities.

Prof. Ashok Panigrahi, a noted conservationist, will join as the Chief Guest along with Ranjan Panda, the Water Man of Odisha and other dignitaries.

In this Inaugural Session, the 3rd batch of Odisha Water Honours will be conferred upon communities and individuals who have done pioneering work in water conservation. It is to inform you that we have instituted two Honours named “Odisha Jalajoddha Sammana” (for individual achievements) and “Ajira Bhagiratha Sammana” (for community achievements).

In the evening at 5 pm, the Similipal River Festival at Saheed Smruti Bhavan, Baripada. The Festival will bring communities from Similipal area who will bring along water from local rivers, talk about importance of forests for rivers and their lives. A parallel photo exhibition on Similipal will also be organised. The Festival will also have cultural programmes.

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