India’s River Cities Alliance Expands Globally, Partnering with USA at COP28

India’s River Cities Alliance Expands Globally, Partnering with USA at COP28

In a significant move towards global collaboration for sustainable river management, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) on behalf of the River Cities Alliance (RCA) has signed a Memorandum of Common Purpose (MoCP) with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI). This agreement marks a major step forward for the upcoming launch of the Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA), expanding its reach to include 267 cities across India, USA, and Denmark.

Key points of the agreement:

  • Collaboration on capacity building and knowledge exchange: The MoCP focuses on sharing best practices for integrated river management, addressing climate change impacts, implementing water monitoring programs, and restoring aquatic ecosystems.
  • Emphasis on green spaces and environmental stewardship: The collaboration highlights the importance of restoring urban forests and lakes connected to rivers, advocating for green spaces and responsible environmental practices.
  • Collective action for safeguarding river ecosystems: The agreement emphasizes the need for collective action to protect environmental flows and acknowledges the role of floods in maintaining healthy river ecosystems.

Bilateral meeting between RCA and MRCTI representatives:

Following the signing ceremony, a bilateral meeting took place with representatives from both organizations, discussing further avenues for collaboration. Key areas of interest include:

  • Sharing knowledge on satellite-based water quality monitoring: NMCG expressed interest in learning from MRCTI’s experience with this innovative technology.
  • Understanding citizen science initiatives: NMCG aims to gain insights into MRCTI’s citizen science program, particularly regarding identifying sources of plastic pollution in rivers.
  • Learning from successful Indian models: MRCTI representatives expressed interest in NMCG’s models, such as the Hybrid Annuity Model and the One-City-One-Operator model for sewage treatment plants.
  • Encouraging research through student competitions: MRCTI desires to emulate RCA’s annual student thesis competition focusing on reimagining urban rivers.
  • Facilitating city twinning programs: Both sides discussed the possibility of establishing a city twinning program to promote knowledge exchange and mutual inspiration.
  • Planning a delegation visit to India: A proposal was made for a delegation of MRCTI Mayors to visit India in the coming year, further strengthening institutional ties and collaboration.

The launch of GRCA on December 10, 2023, marks a new era in global cooperation for sustainable river management. This initiative brings together cities from across the world to share experiences, develop innovative solutions, and ensure the health and well-being of our rivers for generations to come.