Scoping Mission in Koshi Watershed of Nepal


The Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) team together with WWF-Nepal, its implementing partner in Nepal, conducted a scoping mission in the downstream area of the Koshi River basin. ICIMOD’s Koshi Basin Programme team  and the Regional Director of Forests, District Forest Officers from Dhankuta, Morang and Sunsari districts also joined the mission. The team visited Chhatra watershed along the bank of the Koshi River, and the Shardu Khola micro-watershed in Dharan municipality. 

The scoping mission developed understanding on the ecosystem-livelihood interface to streamline research focus in the Koshi’s downstream area. The mission identified forests, wetlands and their interfaces with agricultural land as major areas for local livelihoods. In the Chhatra watershed, water was found to be a key issue: too much water during floods destroyed crops and property while too little water made communities vie for alternatives. In the Shardu Khola micro-watershed – the main source of drinking water for Dharan municipality – communities have resorted to pumping underground water for daily consumption for the past ten years. Invasive species, forest fires, risk of disaster, water discharge, and siltation were also identified as major issues in the area. The site also exhibited a potential for implementation of an incentive-based mechanism focused on water.

A half-day consultation was organized with the District Forest Coordination Committee by district officials and community representatives in Sunsari District. This was followed by an informal consultation with representatives of various institutions and academicians. The participants appreciated ICIMOD’s efforts to get local inputs on the project design and implementation for HICAP.