Elevating River Basin Governance and Cooperation in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Region

Period: 30 January 2021 – 31 December 2023.  

Funder/client: of Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia  

The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) mountains stretch 3,500 kilometres from Afghanistan to Myanmar and are the source of ten major rivers that provide water for drinking, food, energy, industry and the environment for two billion people. Economic activity in these ten basins generates USD 4.3 trillion in GDP, with two of the world’s rapidly growing economies, China and India, relying heavily on HKH waters. The HKH region is a global hotspot of climate change impacts, economic growth, poverty and geopolitical rivalry. The future of Asia depends in large part on the future of these rivers.

The aim of this program is two-fold, namely:

1) to strengthen upstream-downstream river basin governance arrangements, and 

2) to enhance inter-basin cooperation between the ten river basins with headwaters originating in the HKH region.

More specifically, its objectives include: 

  • Provide recommendations to strengthen the evidence base for improved decision making both within basins and between basins
  • Develop a plan/s for resilient river basins that considers responses to COVID-19 challenges and increasing opportunities for gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) development outcomes
  • Develop broad high-level guidelines on how riparian states can adapt to these constraints by adopting a climate resilient basin and inter-basin approach to sustainable development. 

Services provided by IFSD:

Desk review, policy analysis, stakeholder consultation, river basin planning, facilitating science-policy dialogues, writing policy reports, integrating GEDSI analysis and writing basin strategy reports.  

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