ICIMOD highlights water dynamics, cooperation, and sustainable agriculture and hydropower development in the Hindu Kush Himalayas at 2013 World Water Week


ICIMOD in collaboration with Asian Development Bank (ADB), Global Water Partnership (GWP), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) rallied political leaders, government agencies, development partners, investors, and members of the private sector, civil society, academia, and media at the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday, 3 September 2013 to understand how proactive action can move the water security agenda forward in Asian river basins.

The event, co-convened by ICIMOD, included two sessions on ‘More Players, Smarter Rules, Better Outcomes’. It was hosted under a seminar called ‘Eye on Asia’, which has been convened by the Asian Development Bank since 2008. This year, the seminar featured activities that promoted a better understanding of water issues in the region and the efforts of governments and development agencies to address them.

ICIMOD experts Dr Shahriar Wahid, Coordinator, Koshi Basin Programme (KBP) and Dr Arun Bhakta Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, River Basins, highlighted the global importance of the Himalayan water towers as a global resource and the goods and services they provide – freshwater, food, energy, biodiversity, forest, and medicinal products. They said that these services are increasingly under threat due to changing climatic patterns, increased snow and glacier melt, more intense floods and droughts, and changing ecosystems. They argued in favour of firmly placing hills and mountains water management needs in national, Asian, and global water agendas. ICIMOD team also made a presentation titled ‘Troubling Times in Headwaters, Hills, and Mountains’, and concluded by summarizing action items in five Rs: revitalize, reinforce, reunite, redesign, and rebrand.

Participants in the day-long session – organized in an interactive game setting – called for urgent water-centric dialogues and actions to address rapid changes in hill and mountain water dynamics. They also stressed the need to explore viable short- and long-term development options and innovative approaches that will foster transboundary cooperation in securing higher productivity and equity in water use.

Post event updates of the seminar can be followed on Twitter by the hashtags #eyeonasia and #wwweek