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Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit


The fate of transboundary river ecosystems in times of conflict and cooperation

Local communities, indigenous people and humans in general are dependent on healthy river ecosystems, which are becoming a scarce resource. Sizeable free-flowing rivers have been reduced by two thirds globally, mainly due to dam building for hydropower and irrigation. Transboundary river basins in Central and Eastern Asia are vivid examples of this trend. Preservation of transboundary rivers to an extent depends on relationship between countries and their collective and unilateral goal setting in water resource development, nature conservation, climate policies, etc. Ability of poorer countries to develop large water infrastructure also depends on applicable policies of international banks. International and local civil society is also an important player, and often the only sincere advocate fighting for preservation of river ecosystems. The presentation will explore dynamics in transboundary rivers discourse in 21th-century in Amur (China-Russia-Mongolia), Amu-Darya (Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) , Selenge river (Mongolia-Russia) basins from the perspective of river ecosystem conservation and well being of local river-dependent communities.


Eugene Simonov, Doctor of Conservation (博士), Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition Coordinator

Eugene is an environmental activist, journalist and researcher, focusing on empowerment of civil society to protect natural heritage across borders in Russia and US, Europe, China, Central Asia and Asia-Pacific. He is a coordinator of Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition (RwB), which was established in 2009 to address conservation of aquatic environment. Eugene also serves as expert of the Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group (UWEC). He holds Master’s in Environmental Studies from Yale School of Environment (US) and Doctorate in Nature Conservation from Northeast Forestry University (PRC). For his efforts to protect Lake Baikal in 2014 Eugene was banned from returning to Mongolia and in 2021 inscribed on the List of Foreign Agents by the Government of Russia. Тow he is pursuing PhD research on CSO influence on water and energy-related policies of the multilateral development banks at the University of New South Wales -Canberra.



Tuesday, 12 March, 2024 - 16:30 to 18:00
Event location: 
Mond Building Seminar Room