Knowledge Management (Wetlands Academy)

1. Background

Wetlands of Nepal are the Himalayan wetlands providing  different kinds of services primarily to 26 million of Nepali including 10% of wetlands dependent ethnic population. In terms of biodiversity, wetlands are significant hotspots of flora and fauna including endemics species and maintain hydro-ecological system of the Eastern Himalya, which is regarded as the Himalayan Water Tours of Asia that sustains 1.4 billion cubic meter freshwater to downstream community in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Pakistan. However, the wetlands including Nepal have been following the global trend of wetlands loss imposing treats to human livelihoods, biodiversity, religio-culture, hydrology and socio-economy of the region. One of the reasons for this is the low priority of government and environmental institution of Nepal in implementing wetlands interventions that consequently pushed wetlands governance at weak front – at all levels.

This concept proposition on Wetlands Academy initiative intends to improve biophysical environment of the Himalayan wetlands of Nepal by strengthening scientific knowledge base and technological possibilities as one of the pivotal components of wetlands basin governance with the provision of Wetlands Academy in Nepal, the first time in the world. This will be done on the strength of CODEFUND by collaborating with community institution like Rupa Lake Restoration and Fishery Cooperative (RLFC) of Pokhara and other potential environmental entities engaged in Nepal such as IUCN; WWF; National Trust for Nature Conservation; Bird Conservation Nepal; The Mountain Institute etc in the initial stage. Later, the initiative will be consolidated at local level intervention with the support from  the national; provincial and Metropoli governments. ILEC as international body will be providing technical support and also will support CODEFUND to leverage external resources. ILEC has already given to us the testimonial for this noble reason.

Through this intervention, a moderate physical structure with conference, research, residential and laboratory facilities will be created at Rupa lakeshore, Pokhara. RLFC has agreed. Curriculum based audiovisual and resources materials will be prepared and updated to prepare human resources through training, workshops, researches, national and international events and study tour. While doing this, the initiative will put priority to influence government and political personnel to have their stake wetlands in planning framework as priority so that sustainability of the Himalayan wetlands is gradually committed and ensured in government’s plans and programs. An equal emphasis will be given to aware local communities and students/teachers for the longer term impacts. Knowledge generated through research and study will be shared among Himalayan Wetlands Network through national and international events, and also through e-Himalayan Wetlands Journal.

This is not totally an innovative in term of technology exploration and business paradise; but innovative in a sense that this will create enabling environment through physical presence of WA first time in the world by collective inputs and actions of institutions – both global and national.

It influences the process of changes from community to government and politics that eventually results positive products and processes for the sustainability of Himalayan wetlands/biodiversity. Further, this conceptual framework is being reflected in the principles of Integrated Lake Basin Management. The environmental capacity building and hands-on activities will eventually contribute to a national lake/wetlands conservation plan in Nepal as a bottom-up initiative, which in turn will also grow into an international conservation initiative for Himalayan lakes/wetlands (Refer the section of poster under this section presented in COP meeting of Satoyama in Fukuki, Japan, 2013).

2. Background

International Lake Environment Committee Foundation (ILEC)/Japan has been assisting developing countries for the sustainability of lakes/wetlands in the world including Nepal with the lessons it learnt from the study of global lakes that helped evolution of Integrated Lake Basin Management (ILBM). ILEC strongly advocates for the ILBM as dynamic management prescription to improve wetlands basin governance; which is an approach for sustaining wetlands through gradual, continuous and holistic improvement of basin governance, including sustained efforts for integration of institutional responsibilities; policy directions; stakeholder participation; scientific/traditional knowledge; technological possibilities; and funding prospects and constraints which eventually relates to consistent management; cohesive policy; guidance; processes and decision rights for a given area of responsibility.

3. Date of Commencement

Not yet confirmed

4. Estimated Cost

Five crore for initial 3 years

CODEFUND calls for collective inputs and actions of interested parties including donors.