Australian Ambassador to Nepal Peter Budd has Inaugurated South Asia Regional Knowledge Forum 2017 Water and Energy Food in South Asia amid a function in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
According to a press release issued by Australian Embassy, Australia hosts the South Asia Regional Knowledge Forum on Water, Energy and Food from 20-21 September 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Knowledge Forum is an opportunity for researchers, policy makers and practitioners working across the three major river basins of South Asia — the Indus, Brahmaputra and Ganges — to address the interdependencies of the water, energy and food sectors.
Across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the river basins are home to 300 million people. Water, energy and food insecurity is increasing due to population growth and rising competition for scarce water resources between agriculture, energy, industry and the environment. The Knowledge Forum will identify new ideas and approaches to manage these challenges.
Australia is contributing its expertise and experience in integrated water resources management, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. “Australia is proud to be partnering with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); International Finance Corporation (IFC); The Asia Foundation (TAF); South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) managed by the World Bank; International Centre of Excellence for Water Resource Management (ICEWaRM); Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); and, Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO),” said a press release.
The Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) is a program supported by the Australian Government addressing the regional challenges of water, food and energy security in South Asia. It seeks to strengthen transboundary cooperation, facilitate economic growth and improve livelihoods, targeting the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls.
Key organizations in Nepal under the projects are Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Population and Environment, Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS), Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal Development Research Institute, Department of Irrigation, Department of Electricity Development and Nepal Water Conservation Foundation.
Over the next four years, the program expect to contribute to, strengthened capacity in the Government of Nepal for water resource planning, transboundary water management and to evaluate the benefits and costs of economic development, stronger communication between state, civil society and market institutions and sub-national water, food and energy managers, and increased hydropower capacity and investment by 2022, through projects that comply with international best practices and technical standards.
The program is also expected to improve understanding of climate change and its implications on rivers, natural hazards, hydropower and the consequences for livelihoods, particularly women and girls, a gender resource network to strengthen understanding of the water-risk-gender nexus in the Koshi Basin, Viable market mechanisms, local agribusiness and support institutions developed to help encourage increased production of sustainable crops by subsistence farmers and local financial institutions better able to finance renewable energy projects.