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Annual dialogue on Koshi Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Hub

Venue

Microsoft Teams

Date

15 December 2020 to 18 December 2020

Background

The transboundary Koshi River basin – shared by China, India, and Nepal – experiences multiple water-related hazards that affect millions of people each year. To enhance disaster risk reduction in the basin, a collaborative platform – the Koshi Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Hub (KDKH) – was established in December 2018. The KDKH strives to strengthen regional collaboration and deepen the interface among research, policies, and practices. Following KDKH country consultations in India and Nepal and a side meeting in China in 2019, members have been meeting virtually to discuss collaborative activities.

Growing risks

A recently launched report has identified 42 potentially dangerous glacial lakes in the Koshi basin, out of which 24 lie in China and 18 in Nepal. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepal, this year alone, floods and landslides have taken 337 lives. According to the Bihar Disaster Management Authority, in August alone, 253 people were killed by floods, more than 7.7 million were affected, and almost 700,000 were displaced. With climate change, these hazards are likely to intensify and the basin will face more extreme events in the future. Studies have indicated that the 50-year return period flood will increase by 1.5 to 2 times in the extreme climate change scenarios by the end of the century.

Disproportionate impacts

The impacts of disaster risks vary across the Koshi basin countries. Studies have indicated that women, children, and marginalized groups constitute the vast majority affected by disasters. The poorest members of society are adversely affected because they generally live in risk-prone areas and face other disadvantages as a result of high poverty. Existing structural gender inequalities continue to dictate women’s ability to recover from a disaster.

Such disproportionate impacts are compounded by shortcomings in other areas, such as basin scale information, coordination and collaboration between stakeholders for efficient and effective disaster risk reduction, and mutual trust for developing and implementing innovative solutions. There is also a need for gender and socially disaggregated data to promote transformative change in the Koshi basin with regards to resilience building and disaster risk reduction.

Objectives
  • Share the outcomes of the KDKH country consultations and transboundary working group meetings
  • Share recent research and good practices on water-related disaster risk reduction that are gender-responsive and socially inclusive
  • Discuss and recommend areas for transboundary collaboration
  • Discuss way forward for the KDKH and share the KDKH Strategy and Guideline
About the annual dialogue

The KDKH annual dialogue brings members from the basin countries China, India and Nepal, and beyond to discuss recent research findings and good practices that could inform policies and plans for reducing disaster risks at a transboundary scale. The dialogue provides a platform to bring together institutions and stakeholders to capitalize on mutually beneficial opportunities to build a resilient Koshi basin.

The virtual platform will be organized by the KDKH members and will be open to members by invitation only.

Expected outcomes
  • Increased awareness on opportunities for transboundary collaboration and recent research findings for reducing
    water related disaster risks
  • Strategic direction for strengthening the KDKH
Agenda

All timings are in Nepal Standard Time (UTC+05:45).

Date Session
09:30–12:30 14:00–17:00
Day 1: 15 December Session 1: Opening Session 2A*: Glacial lake outburst floods

Session 2B*: Community-based disaster risk management

Day 2: 16 December Session 3: Floods Session 4A*: Landslide and sedimentation Session 4B*: Drought
Day 3: 17 December Session 5: Sharing transboundary collaboration opportunities (reporting from parallel sessions) Session 6: Knowledge management and communication
Day 4: 18 December Session 7: KDKH going forward: KDKH Strategy and Guideline Session 8: Summary and closing

* Parallel sessions

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