The primary pillars/principles of the proposed model for community engagement practices are anchored on the 4A's, Assessment, Awareness, Action and Advocacy, which would enable; Two directional flow of information between government and communities, Awareness, Empowered citizens, Transparency, Ownership, Collaboration and partnerships to work together, and Bridging gaps between participating stakeholders and decision makers The key for successfully enabling community engagement, participation and stewardship is by establishing an institutional arrangement which can anchor, host, manage, initiate and hand-hold community members and other stakeholder and decision makers. River Management Trusts or River Trust at local and sub-basin level supported by a Steering Committee and Working Groups for each local river trust is the most successful institutional model worldwide.

Given the scale of rivers, multiple types of rivers, and the population to be engaged, it's preferred to have local river trusts for each sub-tributary or tributary of the river, each of which is represented at the larger body which would be the River Trust for a given River.

Activities and Role of River Trusts

  • Database inventory creation and monitoring
  • Educational and Skill development of River Trust volunteers and River Trust action force
  • Cleaning and maintenance of the water bodies and green spaces
  • Organising regular activities in collaboration with local schools and institutions in the water body precincts
  • River and water bodies cleaning drives on a weekly basis
  • Take up Water Body Restoration projects on a need and status base
  • Take up learning partnerships with research organisations
  • Funding sourcing and management training of River Trust employees
  • Host and hold citizen forums for discussions (weekly or monthly) regarding various development projects and initiatives, issues concerns related to rivers and environment within their locality
  • Collaborate with local governments, district administration to convey concerns and provide database (data-sharing and collaboration)
  • Develop Toolkits (capacity building), learning products (awareness building), and communication products on a regular basis
  • Formulate engagement and collaboration protocols to seek professional services from urban/environmental planners, designers, landscape architects, conservation and restoration experts, environmental engineers, civil engineers, etc.