Golam Rasul

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development

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Dr Golam Rasul, Head, Economic Analysis Division, is a development economist. He is a national of Bangladesh. Prior to his appointment as Head of the Economic Analysis Division in August 2009, he served as a policy development specialist at ICIMOD for approximately five years. Dr. Rasul holds a PhD in regional and rural development planning from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand. He worked for more than a decade in the Bangladesh Civil Service in different ministries and in field administration in different capacities where he was involved in the formulation and implementation of development planning and programming. Along with development work, he has been actively involved in research in areas that include agriculture, natural resource management, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development in Bangladesh and the South Asian region. His research findings have been published in many international journals including World Development, Environmental Management, Journal of Environmental Management, Environmental Conservation, Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy, Society and Natural Resources, Regional Development Studies, Development in Practice. His five papers have appeared as ‘most read papers’ in their respective journals in Science Direct and Sage. Dr. Rasul provides intellectual leadership to mainstream economic concepts, tools, and approaches in ICIMOD’s three Strategic Programmes with a view to contributing to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the Centre. He is currently working on green economy, valuation of ecosystem services, sustainable mountain development, food security, water, energy, and regional cooperation in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.

Rasul, Golam. 2013. "Why Eastern Himalayan Countries Should Cooperate in Transboundary Water Resource Management." Water Policy.
Abstract: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal in the Eastern Himalayas are interconnected by the common river systems of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna (GBM). The GBM basin is home to approximately 700 million people, comprising over 10% of the world’s population. The economy and environment of the region depend on water, but while the need for water is increasing, poor management and climate-related effects are making water supplies erratic. Upstream–downstream interdependencies necessitate developing a shared river system in an integrated manner through collaboration of the riparian countries. This paper examines the opportunities for, and potential benefits of, regional cooperation in water resource management. It suggests that the benefits can increase considerably when a regional (river basin) perspective is adopted that promotes optimum use of water resources for consumptive and non-consumptive use. Regional cooperation can bring additional economic, environmental, social, and political benefits through multi-purpose river projects, which help by storing monsoon water, mitigating the effects of floods and droughts, augmenting dry season river flows, expanding irrigation and navigation facilities, generating hydropower, and enhancing energy and environmental security. A broader framework to facilitate regional cooperation in transboundary rivers in the Eastern Himalayan region is suggested.
DOI: 10.2166/wp.2013.190
Rasul, Golam. 2012. "Policy Instruments for Promoting a Green Urban Economy: The Changing Role of the State." The Economy of Green Cities (pp. 161-174).
Abstract: Urban areas consume more than two-thirds of the world’s primary energy and contribute nearly four- fi fths to global greenhouse gas emissions. The promotion of a green economy and enhancement of eco-ef fi ciency of urban economies are closely linked. Although the concept of a green economy has raised hopes among urban stakeholders to enhance eco-ef fi ciency, there is little understanding on the available policy and economic instruments to realize this, as well as on the new role to be played by the state in promoting the green economy. This chapter brie fl y examines the concept and principles of a green economy, types of available policy and economic instruments and new governance mechanisms, particularly the evolving role of the state to foster a green urban economy. The analysis reveals that a transition to a green economy would require a fundamental shift in the design of policy and institutions and in the organization of economic activities so as to enhance ef fi ciency and reduce unsustainable practices. Financial, economic, and market instruments need to be aligned to provide incentives to enhance energy ef fi ciency, encourage recycling and reuse, and greening the urban economy. This necessitates a new role for the state, moving from its traditional command and control approach towards a market-based economic approach by facilitating and creating a conductive environment for the proper functioning of markets, the private sector and other actors. The findings of this chapter are expected to be useful in designing a green economy approach for developing green cities.
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1969-9_15
Rasul, Golam. 2010. "The Role of the Himalayan Mountain Systems in Food Security and Agricultural Sustainability in South Asia." International Journal of Rural Management 6 (1):95-116.
Abstract: During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the dynamism in the agricultural sector has, however, lost recently. Productivity of major food grains has slowed down and even declined, for some crops and food production is failing to keep pace with population growth. Therefore, food security has remained a major concern in South Asian countries. The linkage between food production and the Himalayan mountains is poorly understood though the Himalayan mountains are the major source of dry season water in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan for irrigated rice and wheat, which are the staple food in South Asia. In view of that this article briefl y examines the role of the Himalayan mountain systems in food production and agricultural sustainability in South Asian countries looking at the emerging challenges posed by the increasing water stress and climate change. The analysis suggests that a common challenge is being faced by all South Asian countries—for increased food production to meet the demand of burgeoning population, the growing stress of water as rice and wheat , the staple food in South Asia, require huge amounts of water. Moreover, the increased food production in South Asia has to come from the same amount of land, by increasing productivity through bringing additional land under irrigation, as the frontier for expansion of agricultural land has almost been exhausted. The availability of irrigation water is, therefore, critical for increased food production and agricultural sustainability in entire South Asia. Climate change introduces a new challenge to agriculture and food security in South Asia. Recent studies suggest that the impact of climate change on cereal production in South Asia could be negative and that may be as high as 18.2–22.1 per cent Our analysis reveals that the Hindu Kush-Himalayan mountain systems play a signifi cant role in agriculture and food security in South Asia through water supply, climate and wind regulation, groundwater recharge and in sustaining wetland ecosystems. It is the major source of dry season water for several large river systems, such as the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra from the snow and glacier melt of the Himalayas, which provide the main basis for surface and groundwater irrigation. These three rivers form the largest river basins (Indo–Ganga–Brahmaputra) which are the major source of rice and wheat in South Asia. Besides surface water, the contribution of mountain discharge to groundwater is also signifi cant, which makes it an important resource for agriculture and food security in South Asia. In addition to providing surface and groundwater, the Himalayan mountain system provides huge inputs to agriculture through regulating micro-climates as well as wind and monsoon circulation, and by supporting river and wetland ecosystems in South Asia. It is estimated that the Ganges river ecosystem alone supports 25,000 or more species, ranging from micro-organisms to mammals, which support agricultural sustainability and provide livelihoods for millions of people. This article concludes that the long-term agricultural sustainability and food security of South Asia is heavily dependent on the water and other ecosystem services it receives from the Himalayan ecosystems. Attention therefore must be paid to conserve the Himalayan ecosystems in order to ensure sustained fl ow of ecosystem services required for agriculture, food production and overall well-being of Himalayan and downstream population. Options and opportunities for enhancing the agricultural sustainability and food security by sustainable utilization of Himalayan resources and ecosystem services are briefl y analyzed and suggestions have been made.
DOI: 10.1177/097300521100600105
Rasul, Golam. 2011. "Comparative Analysis of Evolution of Participatory Forest Management Institutions in South Asia." Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal 24 (12).
Abstract: In pursuit of sustainable forest conservation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal have promoted participatory forest management (PFM) approaches such as community forestry, joint forest management, and social forestry. This study assessed these approaches based on policy and legal frameworks, organizational arrangements, and decentralization of authority, which are considered the fundamental requirements for the success of PFM. The findings of the analysis revealed that although there is a tendency among all four countries moving toward PFM, their features and fundamentals vary considerably from one country to another. Overall, community forestry in Nepal appeared to be a robust participatory system, while the social forestry of Bangladesh—a highly centralized approach—is deemed very weak. The community forestry approach in Bhutan and joint forest management in India fall between these two extremes. Broad policy recommendations are outlined for promotion of genuine PFM.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2010.545966
DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2010.545966

Substantive Focus:
Economic Policy PRIMARY
Energy and Natural Resource Policy
Environmental Policy SECONDARY
Social Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History
Policy Process Theory
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY
Public Opinion