Workshop to enhance science-based regional cooperation

First Upper Indus Basin Network (UIB-N) Afghanistan Side Event


The upper Indus Basin Network – Afghanistan Side Event (UIBN–ASE) on 23 April 2018 shared research on climate change and its impact on water resources to increase opportunities for science-based collaboration with riparian countries that share UIB waters. The event was organized by Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA) and the Indus Basin Initiative at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) headquarters. The meeting discussed the way forward for UIB-Network’s main event; participants agreed the network would be important for Afghanistan and would enhance science-based regional cooperation for the Upper Indus Basin. They also agreed to be a part of the Regional UIB-N governance structure and to nominate leads, co-leads, strategic committee members and advisors for Technical Working Groups (TWG), following the Afghanistan government’s procedures.

Participants at the side event included representatives from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA). SWaRMA, a two-year project supported by the Government of Australia, is a joint project with the Government of Afghanistan, and is implemented through ICIMOD in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).  During the main UIB-N event on 24–25 April, it was decided that an ad hoc regional Strategic Committee (SC) would formulate the guiding principle, structure, and tenure of a permanent SC. ICIMOD’s Afghanistan country office offered to serve as a secretariat of regional UIB-N. It was also agreed that an Afghanistan Country Chapter of the UIB network would be established with support from SWaRMA. 

Ezatullah Siddiqui, Advisor at ANDMA told participants that the event was an opportunity for Afghanistan to work with projects like SWaRMA to gain experience, enhance expertise, enhance its water resources database, generate and share information, and build capacity.