ICIMOD’s Fourth International Training Course on

Low-cost Soil and Water Conservation Techniques and Watershed Management Activities

15 March - 6 April 2010

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is pleased to announce its fourth International Training Course on Low-cost Soil and Water Conservation Techniques and Watershed Management Activities, which will be held from 15 March - 6 April 2010 at Godavari, Kathmandu, Nepal.


Mountain watersheds provide the adjacent lowlands with water: more than half of the world’s population depends directly on mountain watersheds for water to grow food, generate energy, and for industrial and domestic use. But mountain areas are vulnerable. Infrastructure development and use of steep slopes without proper consideration of conservation needs, deforestation, and population pressure can lead to unmanaged runoff, land degradation, and landslides, and affect the provision of water and nutrients to downstream areas. Across the Himalayas, and in many other parts of the world, farmers and communities are paying increasing attention to finding ways of managing watersheds to ensure that soil, water, and other resources are conserved.


Experience in the Himalayan region and elsewhere has shown how simple, low-cost soil and water conservation measures, easily implemented and sustained by field-level technicians and land users, can address problems in mountain watersheds and arrest land degradation. The training package builds on this experience to provide an intensive course for field-level technicians and extension workers which will provide them with a solid knowledge of tried and tested low-cost soil and water conservation measures and watershed management activities specifically attuned to middle mountain conditions.

Course objectives

The course will enhance the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills of participants in low-cost soil and water conservation techniques and watershed management activities. In addition, participants will learn how to identify conditions of land degradation and the appropriate soil and water conservation techniques to address them, and will learn to analyse and design conservation measures within their own work context.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to

  • understand different low-cost soil and water conservation techniques and options and their importance;
  • carry out basic land degradation assessment and identify, design, and implement appropriate soil and water conservation measures to address it; and
  • identify ways to improve the their own current soil conservation practices.

The course runs for 23 days and is structured around the following modules. 

Module 1: 

Introduction to integrated watershed management and low-cost soil conservation. Analyses the role and importance of watershed management and low-cost soil and water conservation techniques and allows participants to share experiences on conservation techniques in their work. 

Module 2:

Low-cost soil conservation techniques. Discusses and demonstrates dozens of low-cost but effective conservation techniques.

Module 3:

Watershed management activities. A practice survey and design of major watershed management activities.

Module 4:

Strategies to promote and scale up low-cost soil conservation techniques. Provides an overview of some strategies for promoting soil and water conservation techniques and documenting good practices using World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) tools and methods

Training approach and trainers

The course uses a participatory training approach throughout. Classroom lectures are complemented by intensive field work and practical desk planning exercises, field visits and demonstration, and action planning based on the participants’ areas or field of work. Participants are expected to devote time to preparing for and consolidating learning outside the formally structured training time. The trainers are experienced professionals from ICIMOD and partner organisations engaged in soil and water conservation and watershed and disaster management.

Who should participate?

Field-level technicians and extension workers working with the government or with international and local nongovernment organisations (INGOs and NGOs) in the area of natural resource management, especially soil and water conservation and watershed management. 

Course prerequisites

  • Participants should have a technical background related to soil conservation and watershed management (agriculture, forestry, civil engineering, and others; minimum education level is two years of college, or an Intermediate or Certificate level course or its equivalent)
  • Participants must be able to understand and speak English, which is the medium of instruction.
  • A minimum of 2-3 years working experience is preferred, experience in conducting engineering surveys is an advantage.
  • Women participants are encouraged. Child care will be organised for women/men with children for an additional cost of US$ 200 (not including food).

Where and when

Training will be conducted at various sites close to ICIMOD’s Knowledge Park at Godavari, on the southern slopes of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, from 15 March - 6 April 2010. 

Course fee

The fee is US$ 2,500 per person. This includes tuition fee, course materials, food, lodging (shared double occupancy), course-related local travel, and pick-up and drop from Kathmandu airport. Single room accommodation is available at an additional cost of US$10 per day. The cost excludes international travel from place of origin to Kathmandu, medical/travel insurance, and other personal expenses. We suggest that participants budget for an additional $20 per day to cover incidental expenses. 

Applicants are encouraged to secure financial support from their organisations or donor agencies.

Registration Closed!

What they say about the training course 

Low-cost Soil and Water Conservation Techniques training courses have been conducted successfully for the last three years.

Here is what some of the training participants have to say about the course. 

“After having seen the training methodology, experience of the resource persons, the Knowledge Park at Godavari, field visits, and so on, we strongly feel that there could be no better place and institution to conduct this training than ICIMOD.”
– A participant from Ethiopia

 “Many technologies have been implemented before but we were unable to sustain them due to high costs and some were not relevant to our local context. But this training has given us hope that there are low-cost technologies that can be utilised for conservation of soil and water using local resources and under local conditions. This training course in particular has given hope to the people back in my country as well as planners and managers with regard to soil and water conservation.”
– A participant from India

“The training course is very relevant and important for a mountain country like Bhutan. … Now we will be able to observe the problems in the watershed area and be able to apply mitigation measures effectively.”
– A participant from Bhutan 

“I therefore have no doubt that most of the techniques and measures of soil conservation I learnt in this training could ideally be used and adopted to improve on the current approaches used in my department.”
– A participant from Lesotho

For more information and to request an application form, please contact:

Keshar Man Sthapit
Training Coordinator
email: wsmtraining@icimod.org