Tuul River Forum: Steps Towards a Resilient River

Members of the Tuul River Forum holding a certificate of the river's status

Tuul River Forum: Steps Towards a Resilient River

Hosted online by the International RiverFoundation and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia, the Tuul River Forum saw the recognition of the Tuul River as part of the 1000+ Resilient Rivers. Launched in September 2021 during the 24th International Riversymposium, 1000+ Resilient Rivers aims to not only restore rivers and waterways around the world but ensure their resilience for the future. The devastating effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have seen rivers and waterways around the world put under enormous strain. Overuse, pollution, and the displacement of cultural connection to our rivers have resulted in degrading basins, poor water quality and unsustainable practices, affecting entire cities and regions. This campaign is an integral step towards ensuring resilient rivers for our future.

The 1000+ Rivers campaign is underpinned by the Resilient Rivers Blueprint that maps and guides the resilience journey of each river and waterway using scientific, social and cultural evaluation steps. In 2020, the Tuul River was put through the Resilient Rivers Self-Assessment Tools and its results were showcased during the 23rd International Riversymposium (virtual). The Tuul River Basin and its resilience is one of the priority actions included in the Mongolian Government Action Plan 2020-2024, and during the Tuul River Forum, we heard from those in Government, environmental, social and economic sectors about the importance of recognition and the key priorities for the Tuul River. The Forum shared the results of a self-assessment of the river’s personality and journey, categorising the Tuul as an Ambitious River. The river’s personality is highly complex, as a result of the utilitarian history but a desired re-connection to enhance its cultural and spiritual aspects. The next step in the Tuul River’s Resilience Journey is Reconciliation. This is motivated by a cultural perspective and can be implemented through human expression in the form of river celebrations, as well as embracing arts, sports, and recreational pursuits.

Recognising the Tuul River as the first river in Asia to join the Resilience Journey is a crucial step for ensuring the sustainability and survival of the world’s rivers for generations to come. Undeniably, fresh, clean water is essential for the survival of humans and nature alike. Rivers are precious sources of drinking water for people and communities across the world. Every river is important, and each one recognised as partaking in their Resilience Journey is a step towards a future of water equity for us all.

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