Water-induced hazards are quite common in the Koshi basin and often have transboundary impacts; upstream hazards lead to disasters in downstream areas, affecting millions of people.

KDKH background

Water-induced hazards are quite common in the Koshi basin and often have transboundary impacts; upstream hazards lead to disasters in downstream areas, affecting millions of people. Moreover, extreme weather events have cascading impacts and are expected to magnify in frequency and intensity because of climate change and environmental degradation. Unfortunately, women and marginalized communities are most vulnerable to such adverse events as they lack access to information and the capacity to prepare for disasters and deal with the aftermath.

Although there have been efforts to improve disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the Koshi basin, related policies and practices need to be strengthened using a multi-hazard approach. Upstream–downstream linkages in the basin can serve as a basis for managing shared disasters and provide opportunities for DRR and livelihood improvement. Effective cooperation can be achieved by sharing knowledge and fostering practices that address the transboundary scale of disasters, which stakeholders often struggle with.

The Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub (KDKH) has been conceptualized as a platform led and driven by members to foster transboundary collaboration and promote science, policy, and practice interlinkage. The hub was developed through a consultative process with various stakeholders between December 2017 and December 2018 to address DRR in the basin as a multifaceted, interdisciplinary, and transboundary issue.

During the KDKH’s inception workshop in December 2018, the hub’s common vision, success indicators, working areas, and possible governance structure were discussed (shared below). Workshop participants proposed that the Koshi Basin Initiative at ICIMOD be designated the KDKH’s Secretariat; ICIMOD accepted the proposal.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (SFDRR) seeks to build resilience to disasters and promote sustainable development by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR) in all policies, plans, and programmes. The SFDRR has four priorities for action: 1) understanding disaster risk; 2) strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; 3) investing in DRR for resilience; and 4) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

In line with Priority 1 of the SFDRR, the Koshi DRR Knowledge Hub (KDKH) aims to contribute to a resilient Koshi basin by improving understanding and evidence-based decision making on transboundary water-related DRR. Following the SFDRR’s guiding principles on the need to adopt a multi-hazard approach and inclusive risk-informed decision making based on the open exchange of data and information, the KDKH aims to strengthen the science–policy–practice interface by developing and showcasing solution-oriented research and practices. The hub is also committed to synthesizing and providing recommendations for policy advocacy that takes into consideration upstream and downstream interlinkages. The KDKH will facilitate dialogue and trust building among different stakeholders such as policy/decision makers, implementers, media outlets, and private-sector organizations.

The KDKH seeks to promote transboundary collaboration, understanding, and decision making across the Koshi basin through scientific knowledge and experience sharing related to water-induced disasters. To improve the understanding of disaster risks at a basin scale and enhance collaboration for informed decision making, the KDKH provides a regional platform for multiple stakeholders, including government officials, decision makers, academicians, practitioners, civil society, communities, and the private sector.