Strengthening environmental flows in South Asia

08 August 2011 | News story

Environmental Flows means ensuring sufficient water is available for all sectors, including the environment. How to achieve this was the focus of a two-day training workshop organised by IUCN in Kathmandu, Nepal from 5-6 August 2011.

Over 40 participants from Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand were welcomed at the training workshop by Ganesh Pangare, Head of the IUCN Asia Water Programme. "It is time to re-engage with existing and new knowledge around environmental flows and to strengthen networking amongst key stakeholders in the Asia region” he said.

During the workshop, the participants gained a common understanding of environmental flows and reflected on how to integrate the concept in the work they are doing on water resources management in the region.

Spreading the environmental flows concept requires developing or linking up to new regional nodes” said Stefano Barchiesi, Project Officer IUCN Global Water Programme. “These nodes are instrumental to communicating the importance of implementing environmental flows on a local, national and regional scale.”

Environmental flows improve water management by ensuring a sustainable water supply meets the needs of people, agriculture, energy, industry and the environment within the limits of availability. By providing a system for equitable allocation of water, based on available supply, implementing environmental flows can support development and poverty alleviation.

Identifying the most relevant experiences on environmental flows and disseminating them to the regional level, increases sharing of context-specific information and comparison of lessons learned.

This training is an exciting opportunity for The Nature Conservancy to share the latest thinking and practices with South Asia’s on-the-ground water resource professionals. As much as teaching, I relish learning from their rich experiences. Under their able leadership, people and nature can equitably share Himalayan runoff – the source of food security for one-third of the global population” commented Eloise Kendy, Director of the Environmental Flows Program for the Conservancy.

For more information, please contact

Environmental Flows Network website:

Bengal Tiger being Released into the wild from a boat in the Sundarbans