21 August 2019 - 24 August 2019
Kathmandu - Nepal

Knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement in the Indus Basin

A two-part event bringing over 75 researchers and policy makers from the four riparian countries and beyond to Kathmandu in order to share knowledge and advance collaborative efforts for sustainable resource management for the Indus Basin.

© Rudra Narayan Mitra | Dreamstime

© Rudra Narayan Mitra | Dreamstime

Why the Indus? 

The Indus Basin is a key resource shared by Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan. Approximately 215 million people living within the basin rely on its resources – while many in the adjacent regions of the basin rely on the basin’s critical ecosystem services. However, the basin remains a system under increasing stress. Rapid population growth coupled with economic development place major demands on basin resources. An uncertain climatic future will further continue impacting all current and future users of this unique river system. Geopolitics is a major challenge for the optimum resource use in the basin. If the Indus is to continue providing ecosystem and livelihood services, development must be cooperative, equitable, and sustainable. To ensure that it is, we must understand the challenges facing the Indus and establish a baseline understanding to respond to future impacts, which will aid policymaking and improve how the basin is managed. With the aim of supporting knowledge generation and sharing for the sustainable management and future of the Indus, IIASA in partnership with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the World Bank is convening two interlinked events from August 21st  through August 24th 2019.

21st -22nd August: ISWEL Stakeholder Workshop ‘Water, energy, and land nexus scenarios for the Indus Basin: Consultation and joint learning

This workshop is organized in the context of the Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy, and Land (ISWEL) project, led by IIASA, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It will be the third and final basin meeting planned within the phase I of the ISWEL project (2017-2019).

It will take place in Katmandu, and the main purpose is to update stakeholders on the work developed over the past year. Specifically, how the narratives describing the visions and pathways drafted in the Vienna meeting in 2018 have been used to drive the tools, as well as sharing the results (basin scenarios) for further discussion and feedback.

The participation in this meeting is expected to:

  • Increase the knowledge base on nexus modeling tools (including datasets and model assumptions) and their usefulness for basin planning in the Indus.
  • Develop a shared understanding on the quantitative implications of different investments in the basin and their consequences cascading through the WEL sectors and across the borders.
  • Provide feedback to the ISWEL modeling team on the tools and scenarios produced and to be reflected in an Indus nexus policy brief.
  • Identify stakeholders interested in co-authoring a high impact peer review paper synthetizing the findings on the ISWEL Indus project.
  • Discuss practical uses of the developed tools and scenarios in the context of other ongoing initiatives and potential future collaborations.

23rd-24th August: Forth Indus Basin Knowledge Forum ‘Pathways to Impactful Research

The intent of the IBKF has been to strengthen connections among those working in policy making, research, and knowledge generation in the Indus Basin. Building on the knowledge exchange and cooperation achieved in the past Fora, the fourth forum aims to recognize the urgency needed for collaboration among members in the Indus Basin. It aims to do this through three proposed pathways. The three pathways are as follows: policy driven impactful research, engagement and inclusiveness and packaging of research.

 The Three Pathways 

1) Policy Driven Impactful Research

This forum proposes to seek expertise from leading policy professionals working in the region with respect to key areas where their expertise could be sought. Through dialogue among policy experts and scientists, it is expected that key policy areas where further research needed are identified. These would then help scientists in the IB to prioritize on areas of research. Furthermore, this consultation would identify country-level policy discourse and identify potential strategies for engaging with regional policy discourse.

2) Engagement and inclusiveness

 In order to ensure the effectiveness of research proper engagement with policy makers decision makers and other stakeholders is essential both to design the research and to make use of research results. Furthermore, inclusiveness in the research, particularly gender inclusion is extremely important for impactful research.

3) Packaging of Research 

Whether it is communicating new research or repackaging existing research, a communication and outreach package is essential in keeping decisions makers informed. Through the forum, it is expected that country specific communication plans along with a regional (IB level) communication plan is expected. Furthermore, to ensure that findings are communicated with the widest number of users, a journalist network is also proposed. This network is expected to work with scientists and co-develop stories that can be printed in popular media outlets. Along with this, the network can have its members collaborate among fellow journalists to address issues of misinformation and common misconceptions that exist on various socio-economic and environmental topics of note.

Specific Objectives

  1.  Explore priority research and engagement areas to continue collaboration in the Indus basin regional member countries. 
  2. Strengthening of networking between regional member countries through existing networks and exploring new mechanisms. 
  3. Explore the setting up of a journalist network that works between the linkages of science and policy to communicate and promote research that is being conducted in the Indus basin RMCs. 
  4. Draw on expertise from policy experts in each of the RMCs to recognize policy needs at the country and basin level. This interaction will also serve as guiding principles for conducting of research.

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Last edited: 22 August 2019


Yoshihide Wada

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


Barbara Willaarts

Research Scholar Water Security Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313