Gilgit-Baltistan; Land and Water in the Light of Economic Development Projects
The dialog took place on 15th August, 2016 in Gilgit. The key questions raised by the participants included the following:
- What are the readiness mechanisms for fairness in the social and ecological transformations that are coming to Gilgit-Baltistan through mega-projects in the near future?
- Do local CSOs have adequate knowledge of international and global economies that will impact the local rights?
- How can local institutions reclaim control of natural resource based economies and ensure legal transparency in transactions with investors? (e.g. In hydro-electric power generation or mining of mineral wealth)
The Group Aspirations:
- An increased knowledge of global economies and their local impact will assist the already strong local rights to be ready for fairer deals with outside investors.
- A stronger representation of G-B in national politics is a real opportunity in the wake of coming Chinese infrastructure investment in the area.
- Strengthening and formalization of indigenous land tenure system is also a readiness mechanism that will empower local communities and influence groups.
- A mechanism to legalize rights to endemic species with patents needs to be designed so that local resources are protected at source.
- Local participation of civil society, research institutions and youth organizations should be designed during the process of negotiating Chinese investments in G-B.
- Local policy institutions must have stronger capacity to influence legal transparency in transactions that would affect social and ecological assets of G-B.