Second National River Summit 2017
The ‘2nd National River Summit 2017’ with the slogan of Managing Rivers for Life! was held from 16-19 March 2017 in Trisuli River bank, Thewatar, Gorkha, Nepal. About 250 participants from various sectors from Government line agencies, Policy Makers, Academicians, National and International Researchers, University Graduates, Engineers, Media Personals, River Guides, Local People, Non-Government Organizations and River Basin Representatives (people directly associated with river basins) of Nepal and delegates from International Organizations took part in 2nd National River Summit 2017.
The summit was organized by Youth Alliance for Environment (YAE) and Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) in association with, Central Department of Environmental Science – Tribhuvan University (CDES-TU) and Aquatic Ecology Centre – Kathmandu University (AEC-KU).The main objective of this summit was to bring a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the challenges of environmentally sound and sustainable use as well as conservation and management of Nepal Rivers for long run and overall benefits to the people. To achieve this goal, the summit sessions were divided into different sessions broadly categorized as panel discussion and technical sessions. For this event, local communities, policy makers, academician, other related stakeholders, national and international researchers and delegates were invited to have multi-stakeholders interaction.
Hon. Jayadev Joshi, Minister for Population and Environment (MOPE), inaugurated the summit. The speakers of the Inauguration Ceremony highlighted on the river civilization, the present status of the river, its multiple benefit in enhancing the economy of the country, institutional framework and lacking in government sectors. In technical sessions, various scientific papers were presented and discussed which includes river ecology, ecosystem and economy, resource management, application of information and technology for database management, development of different tools and techniques for the ecosystem services provided by the rivers, issues of river channel shifting, disaster forecasting and information dissemination. Furthermore, issues related to water security scenario in urban area of mid –hills of Nepal, aquatic and fish-diversity relating to the environmental flow, Chure conservation from the environmental perspectives were also presented during the summit. The summit also highlighted on water resource in federal structure, existing laws and tribunal hearing/orders about rivers of Nepal for the conservation and management.
During the summit, 1000 episode of the Aakhi Jhyal (a program broadcasted in Nepali National Televisions) - Rivers and Development in Nepal was conducted and recorded. The discussion was based on linking the developmental activities with river and wise decisions regarding development activities by checking the rivers and its components. In order to know the current water and river related scenarios in international arena, different people from different sectors were invited, interacted and discussed accordingly. In regards to the water and energy: the electricity, power and politics, river conservation and its utilization were discussed followed by questionnaires and queries from the participants. Conservationist, water activist, political youth leaders discussed about the water scenario, riverine communities, and how to integrate the community with river for the sustainability. They also shared their experiences on behalf of the river and community and emphasized the role of the political leaders (especially youth) for the river conservation and sustainable development.
The closing ceremony starts with the felicitation to all the partners, presenters, panelists and other supporters. The summit was concluded by announcement of the Common Understanding- ‘Trishuli Declaration- 2017’. The declaration emphasized on river sustainability, saving ecosystem, maintaining balanced between infrastructure development (hydropower), sustainable conservation and management of river system in Nepal. It also reiterates the river conservation to be incorporated in the Nepal’s laws and policies and promised the 3rd National River Summit will be held at Karnali River on March, 2019 for the continuation of the trend.