Kathmandu, Nov 7: The local governments within the Doda Watershed in Sudurpaschim province have formed a multi-stakeholder platform.
They formed the platform in a two-day workshop held in Dhangadhi today. The workshop is organized to address interconnected issues of disaster risk reduction, climate change, sustainable development, and resilience.
The workshop unanimously elected Ran Bahadur Mahar of Shuklaphanta Municipality as the leader of the newly formed Doda Watershed Multi-Stakeholder Platform. Deputy mayor of Parshuram Municipality, Bimala Bohara is the vice-president, Chairman of Laljhadi Rural Municipality, Nirmal Rana is the secretary and Dhana Devi Thapa Magar, deputy chair of Chure Rural Municipality is the treasurer of the platform.
The meeting focussed on strategic planning for the region and agreed on immediate actions, including comprehensive geological studies of the upstream, learning from the other watershed conservation programmes, and implementing risk reduction efforts such as biological embankments.
Similarly, long-term strategy was envisioned to promote early-warning systems for floods, promote crops resistant to wildlife damage, and transform high wildlife population areas into tourist destinations.
Moreover, policies will be reviewed to address obstructions caused by protected areas like wildlife reserves and to promote climate resilience development initiatives.
The programme is jointly organised by Mercy Corps, NEEDS Nepal, and DPNet aims to promote collaboration, access to information and resources, and community involvement in local government activities.
It also seeks administrative support, resource and budget allocation, and the implementation of technology-friendly multi-hazard early warning system to enhance community access and promote nature-based solutions for disaster risk management and climate adaptation, it is stated.
The platform emphasizes the importance of gender equality and social inclusion in watershed area work, enhancing the capacity of community disaster management committees, and prioritizing the issues outlined in the agreement in annual and periodic planning by local governments.
Dr Gangalal Tuladhar, a member of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and former Minister of Education; Rishi Raj Acahraya, Head of Environment, Disaster Management Section of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration and Acting Secretary of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of the provincial government, Laxmi Prasad Joshi also attended the programme.