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Mainstreaming spring revival: Policy dialogue
Koshi Basin Initiative
Resilient Mountain Solutions
16 October 2020
Nishikant Gupta, Kanchan Shrestha & Nand Kishor Agrawal
Organizers: Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF) in partnership with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
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.
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.