Third UIBN–AC Meeting discusses data gaps in Upper Indus basin research

   TwitCount

As an informal knowledge and research network of national and international researchers working in the upper part of the Indus basin, the Upper Indus Basin Network (UIB-N) continually aims to coordinate research on climate, cryosphere, water, hazards and vulnerability, and adaptation-related issues. To further expand and strengthen the network’s activities in Afghanistan, the Third Upper Indus Basin Network – Afghanistan Chapter (UIBN–AC) Meeting was organized at the ICIMOD headquarters, Kathmandu, on 18 January 2019 – on the second day of the Second Regional UIB-N Workshop on “Enhancing Science-Based Regional Cooperation”. The meeting was organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA) Initiative and supported by the Governments of Afghanistan and Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Technical Working Group Leads discussing the UIBN–AC’s progress in activities concerning Upper Indus basin research and future plans (Photo: Rajendra K. Shakya)

The UIBN–AC Meeting was primarily held to recap previous meetings, discuss the progress made by the country chapter’s Technical Working Groups (TWGs), and deliberate on its next steps. The meeting involved 10 participants from Afghanistan representing the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Ministry of Energy and Water, National Environmental Protection Agency, Kabul Polytechnic University, and Kabul University. 

The TWG Leads presented their progress and issues faced. Participants also discussed the possible ways for addressing the gaps in data quality, availability, and sharing. This included involving more partners in the TWGs; developing a standard methodology/approach for data collection and sharing; presenting the concerns of TWGs to the Technical Secretariat of Land, Environment, and Water; and coordinating with relevant agencies and requesting them to share available data. The Strategic Committee Meeting of the UIBN–AC targeted 16 February 2019 for the next meeting (to be held in Kabul), in which each TWG will present clear work plans and a list of additional members. 

The UIBN–AC’s activities following previous UIBN–AC Meetings have increased interest in membership and contributed to the work of the six TWGs. The country chapter has made excellent progress in a short period of time through efficient coordination among organizations and institutions.

Participants of the Third UIBN–AC Meeting during the Second Regional UIB-N Workshop on 18 January 2019 at Kathmandu (Photo: Rajendra K. Shakya)