Jointly Organized by the NCAS and SAIARD
In Collaboration with Public Private Institutes and Organizations
8th-9th November 2024


Rivers are the lifeline of all civilizations as they provide a plethora of life giving benefits. They have encouraged human kind to establish major human civilizations and their cities. Throughout the history of human evolution, rivers have contributed for the wellbeing of human kind so the man has bestowed the rivers as a deity: Goddess of river, she was considered the mother goddess too. According to Celtic tradition, she is the mother, healer and the wisdom purveyor. According to Hindu belief, Goddess Sarawathi is believed to be the river deity with beauty and wisdom. As we look from pre-historic times, all civilizations were established and flourished near rivers. It had played a significant role in agriculture, transport and trade and thereby in the advancement human civilization. Rivers are an element of the hydrological cycle in which water collects via precipitation and its intensity expands as it collects more water from many tributaries that feeds its drainage system. Beginning from a thin silver hair from the top of mountain, it gathers the surrounding waters and commute down the hell with all its fresh qualities by capturing all natural minerals and nutrients that ultimately support the wellbeing of humankind for ages and ages so tirelessly that has enabled generations to evolve to economically, technologically and culturally nurtured civilizations with superior qualities.

Rivers run through our history and folklore, and link us to people and their civilizations. They nourish and refresh us and provide a home to dazzling varieties of fish, wildlife trees and myriad varieties of plants. Be it the Amazon, the Mississippi or our very own indigenous, sacred ever flowing Ganges, every river has a unique identity and a character of its own which flows not just past landscapes, but through our cultures and rituals resonating with a tingling, sensation, vibrating and exciting every cell of the body when we witness its magnificence and grandeur , as it flows .Our minds and souls begin to rejoice and rejuvenate ,refreshed and purified and devoid of any fatigue. They are life giving and nourishing life in all its varied forms therefore should be cared for with utmost reverence and affection. But what do we actually do to save the extinction of rivers or to take care of the rivers which needs rejuvenation? How many people actually feel that we should really do something to save our rivers! Even if we think, have we taken any measures? If we have taken any measures, do other people know about that? If they know, do they have any suggestions!!! May be they have, but they don’t know that where to reach out with their ideas!

Considering the significance of rivers and the consequences mankind will experience in near future if negligent, South Asian Institute for Advance Research & Development (SAIARD) the Head Office of which is located in Calcutta, India has invited the National Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (NCAS) to host and collaborate with all the stake holders including industries, educationists, researchers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs from all levels to the cause of conservation, restoration and protecting ever flowing freshwater sources.

The “International River Congress!” is endeavor on our behalf to bring together scientists, historians, archaeologists, sociologists and simply academia, stakeholders and industry partners who actually can and will research and work for the wellbeing of rivers from all over the world, especially focusing on the South Asian region in terms of addressing the ‘need for awareness of Natural water resources and water shed management for future.’ The NCAS, being the host for the 3rd International River Congress to be held on 02nd and 3rd November 2024, is happy to bring to the foreground the significance of Sri Lanka’s water: its purity, PH value, and above all, its prolonged pride on water heritage management through well planned water/irrigation management technology and systems that encompasses any ancient engineering technologies in the world. Thereby, the Conference organizing team expects bringing all the stake holders together on a single discussion table to share, enhance and deliberate with their ideas on how the world can prepare to overcome the challenge of pure water in future society, and how Sri Lanka can become a partner of world’s mission towards restoring water through restoring eco systems and water she management.

It will also be a platform where everyone can discuss and deliberate about River Basin Management, which simultaneously important to that of water shed management, because water basin is the hub where the livelihood of most of the communities is sustained. This in turns is the platform to think of water financing, water economics and multiple opportunities for entrepreneurship and employability, especially focusing on youth in future cooperation and collaborations. The term ‘River Economies’ will provide the opportunity to think of the river and its role in livelihood in many a ways where the culture, polity, governing laws and policies are to be revisited and re-identified for the benefit of the future generations while restoring the pure waters.

Finally, the seminar will also be an assembly of manifestos where the stake holders can share their views or the steps they have taken till date for management of river bank erosion, river rejuvenation & riverine ecosystem sustenance by means of directing for integrated and sustainable planning in future.

Objectives of the Congress are as follows;
•  To discuss on the emerging issues related to the river and its future planning
• To develop a strategic vision plan regarding river rejuvenation & its adjacent livelihood development
•  To encourage young minds towards river related studies
• To develop an efficient water shed management system and network of distribution among needy communities.
• To create awareness on how to restore the natural eco systems related to riverlines and lifes related to the river.
• To review new challenges related to rivers through round table conference with multiple stakeholders and academia.
•  To increase the awareness among people about the river & its relevance

The Conference will be an open stage for all those who care about the River Sustainability & Development and want to create awareness to protect the rivers. NCAS in collaboration with SAIARD is dedicated to the cause and sincerely desire that this convention will help us raise awareness and save countless numbers of rivers from their obliteration.

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