Collaborative research needed to enhance policy on freshwater ecosystem


The need for collaborative research for conserving important freshwater ecosystem received much emphasis during the one-day expert consultation workshop organized by ICIMOD’s Koshi Basin Programme (KBP). The workshop titled ‘Understanding Freshwater Ecosystem in Koshi Basin, Nepal: Priority for Research and Policy’ was held on 3 February 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. About 40 senior professors, researchers and policy makers stressed the importance of the Koshi River Basin for many ecosystems, and the crucial interface it provides to other ecosystems to sustain ecosystem services for the long term. 

Workshop Participants

The Koshi River basin has a high potential for hydropower and irrigation, which are important for promoting economic development in the region. However, freshwater ecosystems in the basin are increasingly at risk owing both to anthropogenic changes and climate change. In this context, threats to water supply are of principal concern. Given the changing socio-political context and an emerging possibility of a federal state structure, the Koshi Basin Programme (KBP) is considering a possible financial instrument for managing ecosystems with benefit sharing mechanisms for upstream and downstream communities, with a focus on water. 

The expert consultation brought a diverse range of ecosystem experts together to discuss and scope research priorities with possible links to policy in Nepal. Experts at the workshop were mainly from academia, government line agencies, research organizations and NGOs working in freshwater ecosystem in Nepal.