Alvin Manuel Vazhayil

Interdisciplinary Research Center of Cities, Territories, Environment and Society, University of Tours, France

Supervisor: Prof. Dr Karl Matthias Wantzen

In the global context of hydrosystem restoration, the available hydraulic and ecological engineering techniques are relatively well known. However, ‘social engineering’, i.e. finding ways to match the goals of citizens’ or NGO initiatives with government policies, remains a major bottleneck for restoration projects. This PhD research aims to identify a holistic eco-social approach to river restoration in the Global South. To this end, it explores the participatory initiative to regenerate 44 rivers and adjacent streams in the southern state of Kerala, India (part of the “Now let me flow” campaign) in cooperation with the local government. The thesis hypothesizes that the role dynamics between local governments and local communities can contribute to improved outcomes based on the principles of “River Culture”. The study will determine the roles played by these two actors and whether it has contributed to improving the human-river relationship. The results will be utilized to develop a guide for collaborative river management projects in the Global South.