Parikshat Singh Manhas & Akshi Bhagat
The regions of the Indus basin face extreme water challenges due to population growth, increased urbanisation and industrialisation, environmental degradation, unregulated use of resources, inefficient water utilisation and poverty, all of which are further aggravated by changes in the climate. The Indus basin is shared by four countries – Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and China. Changes in the climate have increased water availability here which warrants further analyses. The analysis on the human aspects of sustainable development in the Indus basin regions has been largely ignored due to lack of appropriate methods. The lack of advancement in major comparative data has been a stumbling block in substantiating the main position of the Indus basin societies within nation-states. There is a need for more research using comparative approaches in line with the International Year of Indus Basin region. This paper introduces an approach that implements widely known human sustainable development indicators to different regional levels. In analysing the outcomes and interpreting the dimensions of these indicators, major research hurdles as well as areas for further investigation in the Indus Basin region are revealed. In addition, the sustainability of resources and environmental preservation in the Indus Basin is increasingly becoming a global concern. This review hopes to shed light on the application of indicators and highlight their conceptual limitations in the hope of elucidating the appropriate strategies for security enhancement in the Indus basin regions.
Key words: Indus Basin, sustainable, development, indicators, comparative approach.