Field visit to UIB-2018 and Policy Roundtable in Pakistan

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Under the Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Government of Australia, is implementing “Agricultural Water, Energy, and Hazard Management in the Upper Indus Basin for Improved Livelihoods” programme. It focuses on improving water management for agriculture and livelihoods and water-induced hazard management for vulnerable local communities in Gojal. ICIMOD and partners are showcasing the progress made so far through on-site visits and interactions with collaborating partners and local communities. The visit also includes policy roundtables where participants will explore opportunities to translate learning into policies.

In SDIP Phase I, major activities focused on demonstrating resilient solutions and developing the capacities of local organizations to use water more efficiently, particularly solar-powered river water lifting at the community level, combined with micro-irrigation systems for high-value horticulture in Passu and Morkhun in Upper Gojal. Phase II is more comprehensive: for hazard management, the programme piloted a Community Based Early Warning System (CBFEWS) for glacial lake outburst floods in Passu, for flash floods in Sherqilla, District Ghizar, and for debris flow in Damas, District Ghizar. Biological measures, such as creating plantations of sea buckthorn and salix along river banks, are being tested in Passu to protect developed agricultural land from riverbank erosion. 

These activities are being implemented through a consortium of national partners that involve local communities. Partners include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GB-DMA), Gilgit-Baltistan Forest Wildlife and Environmental Department (GB-FWED), Mountain Agriculture Research Centre (MARC), Karakorum International University (KIU), and Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH).