Climate and other environmental and socioeconomic changes pose immense challenges to water resources management and disaster risk reduction in the Koshi River basin, which is shared by three countries, namely China, Nepal and India. This is due to its transboundary nature and high spatial and temporal variation of resource endowment, and upstream-downstream linkages (high degree of interrelationship among water uses and users). To improve knowledge of the basin and foster water-centric regional cooperation, ICIMOD and its partners jointly developed the Koshi Basin Programme – Phase I (KBP-I) during 2010–2012. The KBP-I (2013–2016) was launched in 2013 with funding support from the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), through its Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP).
The Koshi River basin contains rich biodiversity and is a source of ecosystem services that sustain the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in China, India, and Nepal. The basin plays a key role in the irrigation of downstream areas and has a large potential for hydropower development. However, the basin is highly prone to erosion, sedimentation, and natural hazards, which may increase in magnitude and frequency in the current context of climate change. Population growth, urbanization, and encroachment have added additional pressure on the basin’s freshwater ecosystems. Poor mountain communities are often the most vulnerable to natural disasters and the least able to adapt and respond to rapid changes.
In an effort to inform the media about ongoing work and progress under the Koshi Basin Programme the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is organising a Media Interaction and Field Visit to Koshi River Basin from 5 to 10 April 2016. This event acknowledges the important role journalists play in communicating messages to different stakeholders — expanding public understanding and a need for a regional cooperation to maximise benefits of planning and action, and the need to minimise disaster risks.