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Conference

62nd Pani Satsang

Mainstreaming spring revival: Policy dialogue

Organizers: Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF) in partnership with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

About Pani Satsang

Pani Satsang – a flagship programme of the Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF) – is a public policy discussion forum for professionals, policy practitioners, and media and civil society groups. It enables informed dialogues to identify possible solutions to problems at the intersection of water and other natural resources, society, and development.

Past Pani Satsangs have delved into topics ranging from transboundary issues to domestic ones, such as the proposed electricity and water resources bills. The most recent one was on the proposed bill to de-criminalize marijuana. The participation of members of parliament, former ministers from different political parties, and local government representatives at Pani Satsangs provides clarity regarding the issues involved and help in charting a concrete way forward.

Context and proposed theme

Springs are the lifeline of millions of people living in the mid-hills of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. Alarmingly, springs across the region are drying and their water discharges are also decreasing, resulting in water stress. This is disproportionately affecting those “left behind” in the context of massive out-migration: women, children, the elderly, and the handicapped.

Himalayan springs have received low priority in river basin or water resource management policies and frameworks in the HKH countries; accordingly, national, sub-national, and local capacities for reviving springs, which require interdisciplinary science and a community-based approach, are also currently low. Interestingly, there are some local initiatives founded in local traditional knowledge for spring revival currently underway in some parts of Nepal, including Kavre District.

Accordingly, the NWCF is organizing the 62nd Pani Satsang to discuss policy initiatives and field experiences on spring revival. Local policymakers and stakeholders from Kavre’s Panchkhal and Namobuddha will participate, sharing their opinions on water resource management and conservation policies, practices, and alternatives. The programme will recognize such local initiatives for spring revival, acknowledging the actors and sharing their good practices. This Pani Satsang aims to mainstream spring revival in policy making and implementation at least at the local government level.

Objectives
  • Share problems of drying of springs and their impacts on communities, biodiversity, and ecosystem services
  • Present stories, experiences, and good practices among local decision makers and stakeholders
  • Explore potential ways and benefits of mainstreaming spring revival in national and local policies and practices
Expected outcomes
  • Increased awareness and sensitivity among decision makers and implementers towards the importance of springs
  • Improved understanding for the formulation of policy and implementation of programmes at the municipal level for inclusive springshed management
Participants
  • Local government officials – mayors
  • Experts/researchers
  • Provincial and federal government representatives
  • Civil society (NGOs/INGOs working in watershed conservation)
  • Academia
  • Media
Agenda
Time Session/speaker
14:00–14:10 Welcome, programme objectives, and introduction of the speakers

  • Chiranjibi Bhattarai, Executive Coordinator, NWCF
  • Arun B Shrestha, Regional Programme Manager, River Basins and Cryosphere, ICIMOD
14:10–14:15 Nanu Ghatane, conservation community leader, Fulbari, Kavre
14:15–14:20 Madhav Dhakal, Hydrological Analyst, ICIMOD
14:20–15:00 Speakers from local governments
15:00–15:35 Q&A session
15:35–15:40 Concluding remarks – Dipak Gyawali, NWCF
15:40–15:45 Concluding remarks – Kanchan Shrestha, Programme Coordinator, Koshi Basin Initiative, ICIMOD