Pateshwori Chaudary (right) and other community stakeholders inspect some of their fishing areas on the Rapti River. Photo credit: Ram Moti Chaudhary/HWEPC

Collaboration for Watershed Conservation in Nepal

In western Nepal, pollution, fishing with electric current, explosive devices, and other destructive practices threaten the biodiversity of the country's great rivers and the generations-old cultural traditions of fishing communities. But the tide is turning in some of these communities, where those who once contributed to the problem are increasingly becoming part of the solution.

The USAID Program for Aquatic Natural Resources Improvement, known locally as Paani (meaning “water” in Nepali), is helping change how local communities manage water resources in 12 priority watersheds, which span over 8,700 square kilometers of important habitat in the Karnali, Mahakali, and Rapti river basins. The five-year (2016–2020) activity complements and balances USAID/Nepal’s concurrent efforts to promote terrestrial biodiversity, fight deforestation, increase agriculture production, develop sustainable hydropower, and supports broader USAID goals to ensure the sustainability and therefore economic livelihoods and eventual self-reliance of these communities.

Read the full article in Global Waters on Medium.

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Chris Holt
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