About Us

The Geopolitics and Ecology of Himalayan Water is a new project of the eARThumanities at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich. As the climate crisis worsens, a vast swath of Asian countries for which the Himalayan water supply constitutes the most important lifeline, are faced with mounting insecurity. The scramble for uninterrupted access to ample fresh-water supplies is increasingly triggering a geopolitical dispute among the continent’s strongest powers, eroding interstate cooperation. This initiative also aspires to become a teaching lab for making interdisciplinary connections and drawing parallels across a wide range of human-environment problems. Areas of research will cover history, science, engineering, data, geopolitics, anthropology, food security, film, policy design, writing, etc. and advance the agenda of interdisciplinary research and collaboration across the divisions at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), NYU’s Global Network University (GNU), the Rachel Carson Center and other important international institutions.

Belts, Roads, Environments - Institute (

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) promises green growth in a win-win formula for China and partner states.  What is the record so far?  Are China and BRI partner states reconfiguring the global context of development?  Where do we see green growth, and where are events unfolding otherwise, either for development or sustainability?  Does the BRI model of win-win green growth have its own costs, some of which are perhaps still to be discovered? 


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Ashutosh provides a varying perspective on water, ranging from its relationship to hygiene and sanitation, the work led by the development world in water conservation as well as the emerging role of and opportunities for businesses and the private sector to become stewards of water. Sharing stories from his rich professional experiences

It should not take a tragedy for the Himalaya to change its approach to mountain development. Yet every disaster that occurs is a poignant reminder that narrow solutions to short term threats are not the way forward.

Resource spotlight


In this thought-provoking book, Yifei Li and Judith Shapiro probe the concrete mechanisms of China’s coercive environmentalism to show how “going green” helps the state to further other agendas such as citizen surveillance and geopolitical influence.

Event Highlights

At the end of October 2020, we convened a two day conference that brought together leading Himalaya experts from around the world. Thank you to everyone who attended.

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