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Second Stakeholder Consultation on Integrated Basin Wide Approach for Kabul River Basin

Pakistan and Afghanistan share seven major rivers out which Kabul River is the largest and brings in 15.6 million acre feet (MAF) of water annually into Pakistan . It is estimated that 9 million people from both Pakistan and Afghanistan share the water resources of Kabul River Basin reflecting the economic and social significance of Kabul River. Unfortunately, the political tensions between the two countries has hindered the exploration and management of Kabul River Basin water resources since decades despite the immense potential it possesses. On top of that, climate change has emerged as a real threat to nations all across the globe, particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan. The impacts of climate change are already becoming tangible in the region – increased sea levels, higher temperatures, sporadic precipitation, intensified and more frequent floods, droughts and heat waves have amplified the vulnerability of Pakistanis and Afghans equally. While the effects of climate change are deepening with each passing day, there is still a small window of opportunity for us to cooperate and mutually share the benefits of this valuable resource.

Ongoing research and efforts
In an attempt to explore potential avenues of collaboration for benefit sharing of transboundary waters of Kabul River Basin, LEAD Pakistan, in collaboration with USAID, has developed a project titled ‘Understanding our Joint Water-Climate Change Challenge & Exploring Policy Options for Cooperation on the Afghan-Pak Transboundary Kabul River Basin’. This project aims to not only highlight the impacts of climate change on the two countries through scientific research but also intends to devise an integrated basin wide approach to guide policy making pertinent to management, governance and development of the transboundary river.

With the support of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), we have successfully drafted two research papers underlining the impacts of climate change on precipitation, snowmelt and average temperatures in Pakistan. Due to unavailability of latest data, the same were projected for Afghanistan using existing data and models. According to the key findings, the rise in summer and winter temperatures may negatively affect the snow accumulation during winter and has the potential to accelerate glacier melting during summers. Moreover, there is an evidence that in the 21st century, precipitation may decrease up to 50 percent across Kabul River Basin.

In order to unite stakeholders from both countries on a common platform, LEAD successfully organized a Pak-Afghan Stakeholders Consultation in Almaty, Kazakhstan. During this policy dialogue, participants - including decision makers, experts, civil society representatives and researchers - highlighted key deficiencies and challenges pertinent to the optimal utilization of Kabul River Basin. Furthermore, the research papers were also presented, and were revised as per the recommendations of the participants.

Similarly, LEAD also prepared two policy briefs based on these research papers, enlisting a set of diverse recommendations that governing authorities can adopt and implement in their respective countries. For instance, introducing climate smart agriculture through the modification of existing cropping patterns and inclusion of water-efficient crops, or expansion of hydro meteorological networks in the entire basin in order to obtain accurate and reliable database for future planning, research and development.

Development of an Integrated Basin Wide Approach
Upon the successful completion of Phase I which was to conduct a scientific research on the impacts of climate change on the Kabul River Basin and explore the current constraints and potential benefits of cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, we are now moving to the final phase, and the ultimate goal, of our project which is to devise an Integrated Basin Wide Approach.

In order to develop a pragmatic and sustainable approach, we plan to organize a 2nd Pak-Afghan Stakeholders Consultation in Dubai in early January 2019. To ensure this approach encompasses various crucial aspects of the basin, we will invite decision makers, subject matter experts, researchers and civil society representatives. Resultantly, this inclusive approach will be applicable to both Pakistan and Afghanistan and will assist them with managing, governing and developing the Kabul River Basin.


Click here to download Agenda

Click here to download Event Report

To be available soon

List of Participants

Click here to download the profiles


Understanding the Laws and Policies Governing Kabul River Basin by  Ashfaq Mahmood

Understanding our Joint Water-Climate Change Challenge & Exploring Policy Options for Cooperation on the Afghan-Pak Transboundary Kabul River Basin by Hina Lotia

Pakistan at Global Warming of 1.5-2°C: Capturing Opportunities and Managing Challenges by Hina Lotia

Kabul River Basin Climate Change Consultation Conference by Fahima Sadeqinazhad




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Other Details

Start Date:01/07/2019
End Date:01/08/2019
Last Date for Registration:01/06/2019
Venue:LEAD House


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