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, we were awarded a grantby USAID’s Program for Aquatic Natural Resources Improvement (PANI).
With support from this grant, we helped indigenous peoples of Lower Mahakali and Raptiwatersheds of Kanchanpur and Dang to reduce threats to freshwater biodiversity in their river basins. We worked to enhance the ability of the communities to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through improved water management. Together with PANI, we collected and/or analyze data of the Mahakaliand Rapti river basins. The survey contained information about the livelihoods and traditional practicesof indigenous peoples that informs policies and programs for improving watershed health. Likewise, we conducted trainings for 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.