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At a glance

Initiative goal

Improved water resource management in the Koshi basin and enhanced livelihoods through evidence-based decision making and basin-wide cooperation

Regional Programme

River Basins and Cryosphere

BACKGROUND

Understanding and channeling the power of the Koshi basin

The waters that feed the Koshi basin nurture a rich biodiversity and is a source of valuable ecosystem services that sustain the lives and livelihoods of communities in China, India, and Nepal. We are custodians of those waters, and we try to collaboratively shape futures that depend on the Koshi basin.

The basin plays a key role in the irrigation of downstream areas and has a large potential for hydropower development. However, the basin is highly prone to erosion, sedimentation, and natural hazards, which may worsen with climate and other changes.

This has added pressures on the basin’s freshwater ecosystems, and poor mountain women and men are often the most vulnerable to natural disasters and the least able to adapt and respond to rapid changes.

So we promote inclusive, community-centric river basin management to promote the sustainable use of transboundary water resources across its target countries. We prioritize issues concerning gender and inequality and their linkages to drivers of change and river basin management.

On the ground, we assess household water demand and use; livelihood, agricultural, and natural resource management strategies; the needs and uses of climate-, water-, and agriculture-related information; and current risk management and adaptation practices. We are committed to protecting the Koshi basin and helping its inhabitants thrive.

date-time
Initiative duration

2012–2020

Outcome

Secure river basin ecosystems and reduced poverty through integrated natural resources management and improved transboundary cooperation

Geographical coverage

China, India, and Nepal

ICIMOD VIDEO SERIES

Reaching the most vulnerable

A community-based early warning system along the Ratu watershed of southeast Nepal is helping ensure women get flood information when they need it, and transforming the way they think about floods and their own disaster preparedness.

Koshi Basin Initiative

Implementation arrangement

The Koshi Basin Initiative will approach basin-wide water management with a set of processes leading to practical outputs in the form of water development strategies, plans and activities, and improved communication to support evidence-based decision making.

SHARING DATA

Koshi Basin Information System

The application allows users to view different resources layers such as land cover, wetlands, and drainage network of the Koshi basin.

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Koshi Basin Information System

NEWS AND FEATURES

Around the HKH

Koshi Basin Initiative in the media

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For mountains and people

We have a deep history of work across a broad range of issues enabling sustainable development in the complex environment of the HKH. We have been protecting the pulse for over three decades.

wetlands

Wetlands

The wetlands of the HKH are a global resource. They provide habitat for migratory birds from as far away as Siberia, support rich agricultural and wild biodiversity, and provide key services for communities both upstream and downstream, from flood control to nutrient and sediment retention to regional weather regulation.

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urban-water-1366x681

Urban water issues

Urbanization is leading to water scarcity for millions of people in the growing cities of the HKH.

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Koshi Basin Initiative

Programme components

The programme is organized around a set of interlinked components.

Programme-Component-Knowledge-Base
Knowledge base
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Programme-Component-Climate-Water-Agriculture-Hydropower
Climate–water–agriculture–hydropower
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Programme-Component-Water-Hazards
Water hazards
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KB Programme Component Adaptation and Livelihood Promotion
Adaptation and livelihood promotion
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Programme Component Integrated Responses
Integrated responses
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EVENTS AROUND THE KOSHI BASIN

Our involvement

Stories

Stories from the Koshi Basin initiative

A sustainable model of community-based flood early warning
A sustainable model of community-based flood early warning
ICIMOD initiative helping watershed communities in the Koshi basin come together
ICIMOD initiative helping watershed communities in the Koshi basin come together
Local stakeholders in the Koshi basin receive training on WUMP facilitation
Local stakeholders in the Koshi basin receive training on WUMP facilitation
A milestone for local water management in the Koshi basin
A milestone for local water management in the Koshi basin

Koshi Basin

Maps of the Koshi basin

Hydropower development
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Land cover pattern
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Population dynamics
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Hydrological regime
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Cereal yields and irrigation coverage
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Arable and irrigated land
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Livestock (cattle and buffalo)
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Poverty incidence
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Potential GLOF sites
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Precipitation and temperature
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Digital elevation model
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Hydro-meteorological stations
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The future of the Koshi basin

How much do we really know about one of the Himalaya’s most significant basins? What are the challenges that millions of people who depend on the Koshi Basin for water and their livelihoods face? What are the climatic threats to the basin, and what are the solutions?

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Future of Koshi Basin

Gender lens in the Koshi Basin Initiative

The Koshi Basin Initiative prioritizes gender across its programme design, planning, and implementation for sustainable impacts that improve the lives and livelihoods of communities in the basin.

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Koshi Basin Initiative publications

You will find publications produced or related to this Initiative in HimalDoc, our publications repository. These resources include journal articles, books, book chapters, research reports, working papers, brochures, information sheets, and publicity materials, among other products.

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