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Regional cooperation through science and policy

Second Regional Upper Indus Basin Network Annual Meeting


Microsoft Teams

Date & Time

26 January 2021 to 28 January 2021


Arun Bhakta Shrestha


The Upper Indus Basin, shared by Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan, has been facing the impacts of climate change on its water resources and related sectors. The basin is crucial for all the riparian countries, which face many common challenges and opportunities when working together to manage water resources and water-induced hazards.

The Upper Indus Basin Network (UIBN), established by members from the riparian countries, is a neutral knowledge and research network of national and international researchers working on the basin. It is a voluntary and informal network that aims to foster coordination among stakeholders in research related to climate, cryosphere, water, hazards and vulnerability, and adaptation. The UIBN has been playing an important role in promoting a shared understanding of regional challenges and opportunities. It has been fostering coordination among researchers working in the region to deal with the effects of climate change on water resources and upstream–downstream linkages.

The Regional Strategic Committee (RSC) met virtually on 25 June 2020 because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions. The RSC reiterated its support for ongoing work within the network and prioritized science-based collaboration. Building on this, the second Regional UIBN Annual Meeting (RUAM) and fourth RSC have been planned on 26–28 January 2021. The RSC will meet a day after the RUAM. The RUAM will assess the UIBN’s functioning; progress of the country chapters including the technical working groups (TWGs); share new research and experiences of the riparian countries; and discuss the way forward considering emerging needs, challenges, and opportunities in the region.

  • Strengthening regional cooperation
  • Sharing new and relevant research on the Upper Indus Basin
  • Outlining the strategic direction and guidelines for the UIBN country chapters focusing on the prevailing context and future needs
Afghanistan China India Nepal Pakistan

26 January, 2021

Start time 8:50 12:20 9:50 10:05 9:20
End time 13:55 17:25 14:55 15:10 14:25

27 January, 2021

Start time 8:50 12:20 9:50 10:05 9:20
End time 14:00 17:30 15:00 15:15 14:30

Time (NST) Programme Facilitator Rapporteur(s)
10:05–10:15 Registration Ashmita Shakya, ICIMOD
10:15–11:00 Opening session

Welcome remarks – Pema Gyamtsho, DG, ICIMOD (5 min) Remarks – UIBN Chair (5 min)

Objectives of the meeting and overview of last two RSC meeting decisions – Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD (5 min)

Opening remarks – Country chapter advisors (20 min)

  • Mohammad Asif Noorzai, Afghanistan
  • Deng Wei, China
  • Anand Kumar Pandey, India
  • Nisar A. Memon, Pakistan
Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD Sharmila Dhungana, ICIMOD
11:00–11:35 Appointment of new UIBN Chair

Token of appreciation to the outgoing chair Remarks (5 min each)

  • Outgoing Chair
  • New Chair
  • David Molden, Advisor, UIBN
  • Participants, if any
Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD
11:35-12:45 Scientific presentations

Experiences and new research findings from the Upper Indus Basin (8 + 2 min each)

  • “Assessment of the impact of climate change on snow distribution and river flows in a snow-dominated mountainous watershed in the Western Hindu Kush Himalaya,
  • Afghanistan”-Abdul Haseeb Azizi, Afghanistan
  • “Heterogeneity of glacier changes in UIB region” – Zhang Yinsheng, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • “Dynamic ground water resources in Upper Indus Basin” – Ghulam Jeelani, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India
  • “Hydrological regime of high-altitude Indus basin under extreme climate scenarios” – Zakir Hussain Dahri, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Pakistan
  • “What would be the fate of the snow in the Western Himalaya region: A climate change perspective” – Santosh Nepal, ICIMOD
  • Research highlights from “Science to support SDGs and sustainable water management in the Indus basin (SustaIndus)” – Arthur Lutz, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Pema Gyamtsho, ICIMOD Muhammad Mudassar Maqsood, Madhav Dhakal, and Sharmila Dhungana, ICIMOD
 12:45–13:15 Break
13:15–14:15 Presentations on country chapters’ progress (12 + 3 min each)

  • Mohammad Tayib Bromand, Country Chapter Coordinator, Afghanistan
  • He Daming, Country Chapter Coordinator, China
  • Farhet Shaheen, Country Chapter Co-Coordinator, India
  • Muhammad Riaz, Country Chapter Coordinator, Pakistan
New UIBN Chair Muhammad Mudassar Maqsood and Sharmila Dhungana, ICIMOD
14:15–15:00 Presentations on collaborative interventions (8 + 2 min each)

  • Ladakh-Baltistan comparative study – Abid Hussain, ICIMOD; A. P. Dimri, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; and Sherazullah Baig, Hashoo Foundation, Pakistan (12 + 3 min)
  • Presentation on outline of an article on the UIBN (SOTEN paper) – Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD (8 + 2 min)
  • Funding proposal – Ghulam Rasul, ICIMOD (8 min)

Discussion on the proposal (10 min)

Khalid Mohtadullah Ajaz Ali and Sharmila Dhungana, ICIMOD
15:00–15:10 Wrap up: Key highlights of the day and briefing on the next day’s activities – Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD

Time (NST) Programme Facilitator Rapporteurs
10:05–10:35 Plenary session

  • Guidelines for theory of change for country chapters – Farid Ahmad, ICIMOD (8 + 2 min)
  • Gender Resource Group evolution and integration in UIBN–Pakistan Chapter and potential upscaling to other riparian countries – Chanda Gurung Goodrich, ICIMOD (8 + 2 min)
  • Policy areas identified by the Indus Basin Knowledge Forum and UIBN country chapters harnessing capacity building needs and opportunities – Neera Shrestha Pradhan, ICIMOD (8 + 2 min)
Shahriar Wahid, CSIRO Muhammad Mudassar Maqsood and

Sharmila Dhungana, ICIMOD

10:35–13:00 Group work for TWGs (split into six TWGs)

Questions for discussion/group work:

  • What are the knowledge gaps in the Indus basin and how can they be filled
  • Potential bilateral/regional collaborative interventions
  • Capacity gaps and offerings to other country chapters
  • Key focus areas for TWGs to consider in their respective country chapter plan
New UIBN Chair Muhammad Mudassar Maqsood (TWG1), Nisha Wagle (TWG2)

Sanita Dhaubanjar (TWG3), Madhav Dhakal (TWG4),

Sharmila Dhungana (TWG5), and Ajaz Ali (TWG6), ICIMOD

13:00–13:30 Break
13:30–14:30 Presentations by TWGS (10 min each)

  • TWG-1 Data framework
  • TWG-2 Climate change and air pollution
  • TWG-3 Cryosphere
  • TWG-4 Surface and ground water hydrology
  • TWG-5 Hazards and risks
  • TWG-6 Adaptation
New UIBN Chair Nisha Wagle, Sanita Dhaubanjar, and Sharmila Dhungana, ICIMOD
14:30–15:15 Closing session

Key outcomes and action points of the meeting – Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD (10 min)

Remarks (5 min each)

  • Pema Gyamtsho, ICIMOD
  • Fayezurahman Azizi, Afghanistan
  • Yanhong Wu, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, China
  • Christian Huggel, Advisor, UIBN–India Chapter
  • Hina Lotia, UIBN–Pakistan Chapter

Vote of thanks – Ajaz Ali, ICIMOD

Ajaz Ali, ICIMOD
Presentations on country chapters progress
Presentations on collaborative interventions
Scientific presentations
Plenary sessions
Presentations of the Technical Working Groups



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