4th Odisha River Conference: Empowering Youth for River Sustainability

Home » News » Healthy Wetland Nature » Capacity development » 4th Odisha River Conference: Empowering Youth for River Sustainability

The Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) and Indian River Network (IRN) organised a two-day river conference at Angul on March 21st and 22nd 2024. The 4th River Conference aimed to address the deteriorating condition of the rivers, with a particular focus on engaging the youth.

Recognising the importance of involving young people in water and climate change issues, the conference acknowledged a critical need to bridge the gap between the youth in rural and urban settings and their understanding of river ecosystems and their significance. The conference focused on the initiatives taken for the revival of the rivers, the Food security that the rivers provide, and the connection of the rivers with society.

Ms Dayadra Mandal, Junior Technical Officer – Water Management, delivered a compelling presentation during the conference. She eloquently connected urban and rural rivers with society, highlighting their deep cultural, economic, and ecological significance. Her presentation underscored the cultural beliefs surrounding India’s rivers and their crucial role in natural resource conservation. Ms Dayadra Mandal also emphasised the vital role of wetlands in mitigating floods and droughts, acting as buffers by regulating water flow and maintaining the hydrological cycle.

The conference was attended by a vibrant participation from the youth, local residents, and nearly 50 NGOs. Their active involvement, enthusiastic exchange of insights, and deliberation on potential steps forward demonstrated their strong commitment towards river sustainability and conservation.