Kathmandu, February 21
The second phase of activities in the Himalayan River basin under Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio has begun.
The SDIP is a regional development programme launched by the Australian government to improve integrated management of water, energy, and food in parts of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, addressing climate risk and the interests of women and girls.
The Himalayan river basins in Nepal and other neighbouring countries have been dealing with mounting climate change impacts, heavy dependence on Himalayan water resources for agriculture and livelihoods, growing and competing demands for this scarce resource from industry, population growth, and urbanisation.
The Australian government has committed $42 million to the SDIP2 (2016-2020), bringing Australia’s total SDIP commitment across the region to over $90 million since 2012, according to a press statement released by the Embassy of Australia in the capital today.
Launching the programme at an event held here yesterday, Australian Ambassador to Nepal Glenn White said that in response to the Government of Nepal and other bilateral partners in South Asia, the Australian government would continue to support the region.
The SDIP initiatives focuses on the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins.
Over its second phase, SDIP2 aims to strengthen practices for regional cooperation, generate and share new knowledge, and improve regional enabling environment (including private sector engagement) for more integrated and shared management of water, energy, and food resources.
The SDIP (2012-2024) reflects a long terms strategy recognising many of the critical interventions needed for improving integrated management of water, food and energy at the river basin level require sustained engagement to build capacity and support regional cooperation over time.
Delivery partners for SDIP in Nepal include the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, International Centre of Excellence in Water Resource Management, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, International Finance Corporation, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the World Bank’s South Asia Water Initiative, and most recently the Asia Foundation.
The first four-year phase of the SDIP concluded in 2016.
A version of this article appears in print on February 22, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.