Indus Basin Knowledge Forum

Indus Basin Knowledge Forum


July 4, 2017 - July 6, 2017    
9:00 am - 6:00 pm


Hilton, Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 00200, Sri Lanka, Colombo

New Knowledge Frontiers for Development and Resilience

View the Media ReleaseThe Indus River basin – shared by Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan – is home to some 300 million people, who rely on its natural resources. These are harnessed beyond the basin as well to benefit many more people. But rapid population growth and economic development are placing major stress on this unique river system. And these pressures, together with an uncertain future climate, present all current and future resource users with a forbidding mix of challenges.

It is urgent to build a shared understanding of these challenges, supported by a baseline of knowledge about future impacts and possible responses through basin development. Made accessible to all, such a baseline will provide an important public good. To this end, the Indus Basin Knowledge Forum, held on July 4-5, 2017, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, aimed to:

Assess the current state of knowledge, support approaches that advance the knowledge frontiers and explore ways of consolidating and strengthening cooperative efforts more effectively around the co-production and sharing of scientific knowledge across the basin.

See a multimedia overview of the event as well as interviews with a cross-section of participants.

At present, knowledge about the Indus basin is fragmented and scattered, and consolidating it is a significant challenge. Even so, much can be done to harness this knowledge and use it more effectively for development planning in support of all users of Indus Basin resources. In this regard, the forum identified the steps listed below:

  1. Establish an Indus Basin research “center of excellence.”
  2. Continue to build and develop the Indus Basin Forum and online knowledge platform.
  3. Connect science with policy and practice.
  4. Come together to confront floods and other water-related disasters.
  5. Support dialogue on Kabul River Integrated Water Resources Management
  6. Strengthen capacity with a policy focus, involving youth in particular.
  7. Foster data sharing, with emphasis on hydrometeorologic data, through portals and knowledge networks.
  8. Embark on joint research programs, and engage with external support agencies.
  9. Intensify analysis of scenarios, trends and futures, with a systems perspective.
  10. Promote interaction with the regional research networks Central Asian Water (CAWa) as well as the South Asian Water Initiative (SAWI) and South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs).

The meeting was co-convened by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the World Bank. Building on the work of the Upper Indus Basin Network and the Indus Forum, the event continued processes started under the Indus Forum of the World Bank’s South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI).

In February 2016, the Indus Forum held a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, with the objective of achieving a better understanding of ongoing research and interventions related to climate change adaptation, the cryosphere and waters of the Indus Basin. This year’s meeting focused on “New Knowledge Frontiers for Development and Resilience,” bringing together over 100 key stakeholders from governments, civil society, academia and the private sector, including Indus Forum members from the four basin countries.

The forum was followed by the Second Indus Basin Regional Media Dialogue (July 7) and China Media Dialogue (July 8), organized by IWMI and The Third Pole. The objectives of these events were to:

  • Inform media about key science issues in the Indus Basin.
  • Help improve understanding of issues faced by the media in reporting on the Indus Basin and river system, and identify ways to address gaps.
  • Provide a platform to facilitate future interaction between experts and journalists, and encourage more regular engagement.

IBKF Outputs


Second Indus Basin Regional Media Dialogue