Kathmandu, April 29
Around 50 scientists, decision-makers and practitioners from Nepal and China have agreed to establish a knowledge hub to support disaster risk reduction in the Koshi River basin.
During a session ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in the Koshi River Basin’ recently conducted in Kathmandu, Koshi Basin Initiative at International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and Institute of Mountain Hazard and Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences highlighted the need to increase regional understanding of water-related disasters and rural livelihood adaptation in the Koshi basin and identify areas for regional collaboration for DRR.
ICIMOD, IMHE, and their partners shared information on research work in DRR and livelihood adaptation in the Koshi basin. Participants deliberated on past efforts, progress, gaps and ways forward to strengthen regional collaboration on DRR and sustainable livelihoods.
Basanta Raj Shrestha, director of Strategic Cooperation at ICIMOD, reiterated the need to strengthen DRR in the basin by taking successful pilots to policy and implementation levels while leveraging institutional and governmental support from all three basin countries — Nepal, India and China.
Prof Yiping Fang, IMHE, emphasised the need to respond to the varied landscapes, cultures, and institutional support possibilities within and between the three basin countries, according to a press release issued by the ICIMOD today. He said the time was right to move from dialogue to action.
Basanta Adhikari from Institute of Engineering Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu said the three countries should work together for disaster management by developing common methodology that is understandable to all and by involving all other relevant stakeholders.
Highlighting the way ahead Mandira Singh Shrestha, programme coordinator, HI-RISK, ICIMOD, said, “The proposed DRR Knowledge Hub, common to all three Koshi Basin countries, can help us respond to challenges posed by the HKH’s multi-hazard environment. Transboundary cooperation is a must for this.” The transboundary Koshi basin is home to more than 40 million people who depend on its rich natural resources. It is also a multi-hazard environment, one of many in the HKH, where floods, landslides, and droughts affect millions of people every year and disrupt sustainable development.
Although there have been efforts to improve DRR in the Koshi Basin, DRR policies and practices often lack a multi-hazard risk assessment.
A version of this article appears in print on April 30, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.