ICE WaRM a proud partner of $42M sustainable development program in Himalayan river basins

ICE WaRM (the International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management) is a delivery partner of the second phase of activities in the Himalayan River basin under the Australian Government’s Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP).

The SDIP aims to improve integrated management of water, energy and food in parts of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh, addressing climate risk and the interests of women and girls.

Against a backdrop of water scarcity and mounting climate change impacts, a heavy dependence on the Himalayan water resources for agriculture and livelihoods, and the growing and competing demands for this scarce resource from industry, population growth and urbanisation, the Australian Government has committed $42 million to the SDIP2 (2016-2020) bringing Australia’s total SDIP commitment across the region to over $90 million since 2012.

Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, HE Glenn White, launched the second phase of activities in Kathmandu in February.

“In response to the Government of Nepal and other bilateral partners in South Asia, Australia has and will continue to support the region where it is uniquely placed to contribute,” he said.

“This includes on integrated water resource management (at basin scale); climate resilient and water/energy efficient agriculture; and energy efficiency & standards in large scale grid connected renewables and small to medium scale hydropower.”

ICE WaRM Managing Director Darryl Day said the partnership approach between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the other seven delivery partners is to be celebrated.

“The approach is innovative and has proved to achieve extraordinary results through collaboration,” he said. “In Nepal, the Nepal-Australian Joint Task Force has provided strategic focus and supported real progress in the National Water Resources Policy for Nepal – a model others may wish to consider.

“Gender equity is a strong focus of the Nepal national policy to support the Sustainable Development Goals. Evidence-based policy is essential to address access to safe drinking water, economic development through agriculture and hydro-electricity management of environmental assets.”

Over its second phase, SDIP aims to strengthen practices for regional cooperation, generate and share new knowledge, and improve the regional enabling environment – including private sector engagement – for more integrated and shared management of water, energy and food resources.

Along with ICE WaRM, delivery partners for SDIP in Nepal include CSIRO, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the World Bank’s South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) and The Asia Foundation.

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