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Expert Symposium on Koshi River Basin Management in a Federal Context: Efforts and Opportunities


River Basins and Cryosphere, Koshi Basin Programme


Hotel Xenial, Biratnagar, Province no 1


21 December 2018 to 22 December 2018

The Government of Nepal emphasizes on integrated management of land and water resources while ensuring multiple uses of water (i.e. energy and irrigation), reduction of climate and water-induced disasters, and sustainable development through integrated river basin management. While state policies focus on the sustainable use of available natural resources, the country faces multiple challenges such as degradation of land and water resources, increasing conflicts regarding the use of these resources, and gaps in multi-stakeholder coordination. Realizing these challenges, the 39th meeting of the National Development Action Committee (NDAC) under the chair of the Prime Minister has decided to form a high-level committee to look at river basin management approaches. In line with NDAC’s decision, the Ministry of Forests and Environment (at the ministerial level) has formed another coordination committee to execute the NDAC agenda under the coordination of a National Planning Commission (NPC) member (forestry and environment sector). In the meantime, the Government of Nepal has also established four major river basin offices to manage the Koshi, Gandaki, Karnali, and Mahakali rivers.

The Koshi River basin comprises one of Nepal’s major river systems and provides multiple ecosystem services for national economic development and community livelihoods. With ongoing state restructuring, and multiple policies and stakeholders, it is high time to discuss on integrated river basin management options in the Koshi basin, which would also lay the foundation for other river basins in the country.

The two-day expert symposium is designed to share current knowledge on river basin management and good practices, and discuss a possible framework for integrated river basin management in the Koshi basin.

Specific Objectives

The symposium aims to bring together relevant policy and decision makers, scientists, and practitioners to engage in a consultative sharing and discussion process to:

  • Share updates on the current state of knowledge in Nepal with regard to river basin management and gaps and ways forward with particular focus on the Koshi River basin.
  • Discuss and receive feedback on a possible framework for river basin management plans and programmes, which will feed into the national-level policy formulation process.

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