DoSCWM drafts watershed management policy

Kathmandu, April 16

The Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management has drafted the National Watershed management Policy to regulate watershed management across the country, and sent a draft to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation for further process.

“The draft includes integrated approaches for the conservation of watersheds, and for development works in the region,” Director General of the department Bijaya Raj Poudyal told The Himalayan Times.

Paudyal expressed hope that after the policy would stop rampant exploitation of watershed areas and natural resources, and development works in the region would be sustainable and environment-friendly.

According to the department, a proposal for Kulekhani Soil Conservation and Watershed Committee has also been forwarded to the ministry.

After the department’s announcement that it will be declaring certain watershed areas in the country as protected, the department picked Fewa Lake of Pokhara as the first protected watershed area. The department has also sent a proposal for the watershed area’s boundary to the ministry.

The department said that Fewa Lake was chosen to begin the project because of its popularity. DG Poudyal also said that Kulekhani will be declared as the second protected watershed area.

Nepal has ten areas listed as Ramsar sites under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for watershed protection. Fewa Lake is listed as a Ramsar site, a list of unique or rare wetland types all over the world. The lake is also facing a great threat of erosion from its watershed Panchase.

The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the protection and sustainable use of key wetland areas. Nepal has ten sites listed as a Ramsar site under the convention, including Fewa Lake.