Inception Workshop Koshi Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Knowledge Hub

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Background

The Koshi Basin Initiative (KBI) at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) works with partners to increase understanding of disasters in the basin and to enhance preparedness for disaster risk reduction. The networks created in this process and through ICIMOD partners could be leveraged to identify areas for collaboration and knowledge sharing between institutions and stakeholders in the basin.

In December 2017, and in April and August 2018, the KBI organized two workshops and a regional dialogue to provide platforms for policy- and decision-makers, scientists, and practitioners to deliberate on strengthening regional collaboration in disaster risk reduction (DRR), and ensure resilient livelihoods in the Koshi Basin. The panel, group, and open floor discussions all recognized the need to address DRR in the basin as a multifaceted, interdisciplinary, and transboundary challenge. The consensus was that regional collaboration should extend beyond information sharing. A scoping exercise with potential members and stakeholders to understand their perspectives and needs was also conducted during August–November 2018. 

What is the Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub?

The Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub is conceived as a platform of multiple stakeholders who can address challenges posed by the basin’s multi-hazard environment. It is platform for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers to share knowledge and information on transboundary issues related to water induced disasters and identify areas for regional cooperation. It aims to facilitate integration between research, policy, and practice between stakeholders to develop collaborative activities and projects that improve decision making for the management of the Koshi Basin. 

Why is there a need for a Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub?

The Koshi is a disaster prone basin. These risks impact the socio-economic development of the population and are likely to be further exacerbated by climate change. The disasters are often transboundary in nature; upstream conditions and interventions affect the downstream and vice-versa. However, there are knowledge and information gaps across geographical areas, institutions, and sectors. Thus, there is a need to share the state of knowledge in addressing water related disasters for better livelihood options and to improve decision-making for sustainable investment in the basin. 

The Hub will bring together multiple stakeholders across boundaries to share and generate knowledge and identify priority areas in policy, research, and practice for transboundary collaboration. These can be further implemented by relevant stakeholders. 

What are the expected outcomes of the Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub?

  • Improved common understanding among key stakeholders on priority areas for transboundary water-related issues in the basin.
  • Identification of potential areas for collaboration at the transboundary scale between researchers, practitioners, and decision makers. 

How is the Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub going to achieve its objectives?

  • The members of the Hub will define its specific strategies and activities and carry them forward. They will be guided by the support and interest of the members building on their rich experience in the Koshi Basin. 
  • The Knowledge Hub will create a research-policy-practice interface, where it will encourage members to share knowledge through online platforms and annual dialogues; identify areas for joint research; and share, propose, and showcase solutions. 
  • Transboundary thematic working groups (TTWGs) and country chapters (CCs) have been envisioned as self-guided groups working on proposing and showcasing solutions together, ultimately using their own networks and the platform provided by the Hub to influence practice, research, and policy in the Koshi River basin and beyond. 

The objectives of the inception workshop are: 

  • To share knowledge on current understanding of water-related disasters in the Koshi Basin. 
  • To develop short- and long-term strategies for the Knowledge Hub.
  • To build consensus on the governance structure of the Hub.