The sustainable management of water resources in Nepal depends on addressing climate change and protecting healthy and biodiverse ecosystems, which requires thatstakeholders have the abilityto manage fresh water resources and biodiversity in an appropriate manner. In this context, with an overall objective of contributing to enhance watershed health, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) has been awarded a grantby USAID’s Program for Aquatic Natural Resources Improvement (PANI).
With support from this grant, NEFIN willhelp indigenous peoples of Lower Mahakali and Raptiwatersheds of Kanchanpur and Dang to reduce threats to freshwater biodiversity in their river basins.NEFIN will work to enhance the ability of the communities to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through improved water management. NEFIN, together with PANI, will collect and/or analyze data of the Mahakaliand Rapti river basins. The survey will collect information about the livelihoods and traditional practicesof indigenous peoples that will inform policies and programs for improving watershed health. Likewise, NEFIN will conduct trainings based on the Civil Society Guide that will capacitate indigenous peoples of these watershed areas to advocate for and implement participatory, multi-stakeholder integrated water resource management recognizingindigenous peoples’ customary law and practices. All of these efforts will eventually help to reduce threats to freshwater biodiversity and increase the ability of the communities to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. This grant commenced in March 2017 for one year.