The Indus River basin – shared by Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan – provides critical water resources for the more than 268 million people who call it home. These resources are also key to the economic development and environmental health of the region, but rapid changes, such as population growth, urbanization, and climate change are exacerbating the Basin’s already stressed natural resources. If the Indus is to continue to provide important ecosystem and livelihood services to those within and beyond its boundaries, the focus should be on coordinated, equitable and sustainable development of the basin.
In order to facilitate this trajectory, it is important to build a shared understanding of the challenges facing the Indus, and to establish a baseline of knowledge to be able to respond to future impacts. Made accessible to all, such a baseline can improve basin management and be a valuable policy making tool and public good.
Building on several previous meetings and initiatives, like the Indus Forum, the Upper Indus Basin Network, and the Global Environment Facility funded Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy and Land project (ISWEL), the Indus Basin Knowledge Forum (IBKF) brings together researchers and policy makers from the four countries in the basin and beyond to share knowledge and advance collaborative efforts for sustainable resource management. This meeting will be the third IBKF and will build on the outcomes of the last IBKF that was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in July of 2017. Co-convened by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the World Bank, the IBKF aims to further strengthen the connections amongst those working in policy making, research and knowledge generation.