Ms. Kabita Gautam participated in “The Asia Pacific Civil Society Regional Consultation Meeting 2012”

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Ms. Kabita Gautam, Program Assistant, The Small Earth Nepal participated in “The Asia Pacific Civil Society Regional Consultation Meeting 2012” organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held in Kathmandu on 22-23 November 2012. The meeting was focused on:

  • Rio+20 Outcomes and Implementation in Asia Pacific
  • Rio+20 and Principle 10
  • UN Post-2015 Agenda
  • Green Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • International Environmental Governance
  • Chemical Waste and Management
  • Regional Priority Issues

UNEP_CSOmeeting2012Ms. Gautam showed her active participation by writing rapporteur report for one of the session where youth from Asia Pacific presented on the Role of Major Groups in Post-Rio Agenda. She also gave her comments and inputs regarding two different themes: i) Green Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production and ii) UN Post-2015 Agenda. She along with other youth was able to incorporate different youth issues including green entrepreneurship and youth empowerment under the vulnerable groups.

The consultation meeting came out with a declaration as an important input to the Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum to be held in Nairobi on 16-17 February 2013.

She also participated in the Youth Meeting of UNEP-TUNZA during the event, where she shared about the Children activities for climate action initiated by The Small Earth Nepal. She has been proposed to lead the TUNZA Network in Nepal by the Nepali youth who have been involved in TUNZA.

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Mr. Dhiraj Pradhananga presented in Seminar on “Himalayan Mountain Headwaters and Recharge of Groundwater, Wells and Springs”

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Mr. Dhiraj Pradhananga, President of The Small earth Nepal (SEN) gave a presentation on ‘An Outlook of Groundwater in Kathmandu Valley: Research, Policy and Management’ at the recently held one-day Seminar on “Himalayan Mountain Headwaters and Recharge of Groundwater, Wells and Springs”. The seminar was held at the Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur on 11th November 2012 organized by the Institute for Development and Innovation (IDI) Nepal with a funding support from the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN).

Mr. Pradhananga highlighted on the Kathmandu Valley Groundwater Basin, water demand, groundwater abstraction and groundwater level depletion. The groundwater extraction has been increasing since past few years along with the demand for water. He gave a brief on the current scenario of groundwater in the Valley.  The evaluation with WHO guideline shows that the groundwater quality is below the standard for drinking.

He reflected on the water supply in Kathmandu which is highly polluted and unreliable and inadequate both in quality and quantity and could be more severe in future considering the potential changing climate. He presented the importance of management of the groundwater recharge zones, rainwater harvesting, artificial recharge, and management of water supply system.

More than 65 publications including journals, papers, reports, thesis, etc. have been published regarding groundwater in the Kathmandu Valley. One of those publications, “Kathmandu Valley Groundwater Outlook” was a book launched on the World Water Day 2012 by The Small Earth Nepal along with Asian Institute of Technology, the Center of Research for Environment Energy and Water, and the International Centre for River Basin Environment, University of Yamanashi. The book contains 12 chapters focused on groundwater quantity, quality, uses, institutions and policies for the Kathmandu Valley. It is an attempt to compile together scientific evidences comprising different aspects of groundwater in the Valley.

SEN has been running different research sharing, capacity building, awareness, and advocacy programs related to climate change and water. One of those events is the annual national symposiums on the groundwater of the Kathmandu Valley, which has been started since 2009. The fourth national symposium is being held on 22 March on the World Water Day – 2013.

During his presentation Mr. Pradhananga further highlighted on the importance of including climate change studies for future planning on groundwater management in Nepal. “Extreme hydro-climatic events are increasing, heavy rainfall events are increasing and the seasonal rainfall pattern is changing.” shared Mr. Pradhananga. The future projections of precipitation in Nepal are not in favor of water demand. Wet season is getting wetter and dry season is getting drier; wetter regions are getting wetter and drier regions are getting drier.

He also pointed out that the demand of water supply is increasing in the Valley due to not only the increasing population but also the change in lifestyles. He presented the information about the institutions and policies regarding the groundwater in the Valley. The inter-relationship between science, people and policy has also been explained. He raised questions “Can we enhance natural recharge system?” “Is household or community level water treatment is more feasible/efficient than large scale treatment plants?”  He also alerted about the challenges as well as the opportunities in coming days. “More collaboration is needed to ensure new knowledge is generated and available resources are optimized. There is a need of decision support system along with knowledge based development, management and dissemination.” concluded Mr. Pradhananga.