Posted on 14 February 2023
13–14 February, 2023, Gaidakot: WWF Nepal and SAHAMATI jointly organized the Narayani River Conclave 2023 at The Narayani Resort, Gaindakot. The conclave was supported by the Basin Management Centre Gandaki, Gaindakot Municipality, the Central Department of Environmental Science at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University, and Lutheran World Relief.
"I am hopeful that this summit will address the challenges of how conservation and prosperity can coexist," said the conclave’s chief guest, Gandaki Province Minister of Agriculture, Energy, and Water Resource Bed Bahadur Gurung. He also expressed his concerns regarding the pressure that humans are putting on water resources and the urgent need for their regulation.
Former Minister of Science and Technology, Ganesh Shah, highlighted the significance of rivers for culture and religion, as well as their dangers if proper measures are not in place.
Maheswor Dhakal, Director-General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, called for a halt to river exploitation and conservation actions for the preservation of rivers in their natural state.
The event was part of WWF Nepal's Lower Narayani River Basin Stewardship Project. This project aims to restore wetlands, improve livelihoods, and create a basin action plan for water resource sustainability.
"Water is critical to every living being on earth. To ensure that future generations reap the same rewards from the water resource that we and our ancestors did, we must carry the torch for river and other natural resource conservation," said Dr. Ghana Shyam Gurung, Country Representative of WWF Nepal.
The conclave also endorsed 12 declaration points that call for the Narayani River to be designated as a "heritage river" and for all relevant parties to work together for its good health.