Koshi Basin Programme hosts a National Consultation workshop in China and revisits its impact pathway to ensure common understanding and plan for knowledge management strategies and research uptake


Contemporary environmental and socio-economic changes pose immense challenges to water resources management in the Koshi River Basin (covering parts of China, Nepal, and India) due to high spatial and temporal variation of resource endowment across boundaries, and upstream-downstream linkages. In the context of global climate change, the high-altitude areas of the basin pose specific challenge that might affect the snow, glacier and precipitation distribution, and water availability and hazard consequence. 

In order to enhance the effectiveness of Koshi Basin Programme (KBP), a two-day consultation workshop was organized in Chengdu, China, by the Institute of Mountain Hazard and Environment (IMHE) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on 11 and 12 November 2013. The workshop was attended by key stakeholders from Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning, the Ministry of Water Resource of the People’s Republic of China; and Yunnan University as well as researchers from IMHE and ICIMOD. 

Photo: IMHE
Workshop participants

The consultation was a follow-up to the two-day workshop held on 26 and 27 May 2013 in Chengdu wherein IMHE-ICIMOD partnership delineated the joint scope of work to understand the dynamics of water-related hazards such as debris flow, floods, and glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in the high-altitude areas of the Tibetan part of the basin and associated livelihood and ecosystem impacts in the basin as whole.

At the two-day workshop, the participants discussed the current state of knowledge related to climate and environmental change drivers, water-related hazard risk policies, practices, and future plans in China, and strategies to address existing and future drivers of change. 

Speaking at the opening session, Prof Wei Fangqiang, Deputy Director of IMHE, CAS, highlighted the relevance of IMHE works with regard to KBP and stressed the importance of this partnership. Dr Arun Shrestha, Programme Manager, River Basin Programme of ICIMOD, made a presentation on ‘Climate change impact in the HKH river basins’ and also shared the objectives and expectations of the workshop. Dr S M Wahid, Coordinator of KBP, briefed the participants on the KBP impact pathway and led a group work to revisit the same.

During group work sessions, the participants updated the knowledge management and communication strategies and capacity development plans to ensure proper research uptake and dissemination. In particular, the participants charted research-to-policy pathway to foster regional approach to water hazard risk reduction in line with national interest and improve the wellbeing of local communities through sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services. They identified knowledge products and discussed on how and where to use them. The group work sessions also identified the capacity development needs and the scope for further collaboration.

It is expected that the outcome of the workshop will guide the KBP to generate and disseminate improved information and knowledge to reduce hazard risks and develop strategies to address impact on water availability, agriculture, and freshwater ecosystem services including hydropower development.