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Himalaya project for better management of highland wetlands


Kathmandu, Nepal; 7th March 2006:

This initiative was decided at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ( ICIMOD ) , in Kathmandu , Nepal from 27th February to 7th March 2006.

Partners from the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and India agreed to start implementing a new Asia ProEco project co-funded by the EuropeAid Cooperation Office. 
The two year project, led by Wetlands International, will deliver a new wetland knowledgebase for use by Nepal and neighbouring countries, in order to measure the risks of wetland loss and promote integrated water resource management. 

Based on state-of-the-art satellite remote sensing and water flows data, the project brings conservation and water managers together to share their knowledge, and to better inform countries that share the Greater Himalayan Region, to enable the conservation and wise use of high altitude wetlands.

The conservation and wise use of these wetlands require international cooperation, and the project will also build the capacity of partner authorities and selected communities in Nepal, Bhutan, China, and India, to achieve these aims.

Background: the Importance of High Altitude Wetlands
There is an urgent need for the conservation and wise use of highland wetlands in the Greater Himalayan Region. Wetlands provide buffering of water flows in vulnerable high mountain catchments across the Greater Himalayan Region, are crucial for sustaining biodiversity and local people’s livelihoods, and are associated with the:
Ø World water tower providing water resources and services
Ø Direct dependence of 250 million people in the upland and affected livelihood of some 1.5 billion people in downstream lowland areas
Ø Great wealth in both biological and cultural diversity.
Ø High risk of wetland degradation, loss and natural disaster, such as flash floods.

Further information

Lead Partners and primary contacts:

Wetlands International is the only global NGO dedicated to the conservation and wise use of wetlands and is an independent, not-for-profit, global organisation, supported by Government membership from all continents of the world, extensive specialist networks and volunteers.

Press (only) can contact our communication manager, Alex Kaat :
+31 317 478856, 
cell: +31 6 50601917

ICIMOD is dedicated to poverty alleviation and environmental conservation in the Greater Himalayas, and is the only international organisation with a clearly defined eco-regional focus. 
Contact: Jianchu Xu or Rajendra Shilpakar.  International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, GPO Box 3226, Khumaltar, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: +977 1 5 525 313, Fax: +977 1 5 524 509, 5 536 747

Additional contacts
The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) is an interdisciplinary research centre for ecology, hydrology and environmental microbiology, and is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK’s leading body for research, monitoring and training in the environmental sciences.  
Contact: Gwyn Rees, Tel.: +44 1491 838800, Fax: +44 1491 692424, E-mail:

ARGEOPS is a Netherlands-based non-profit association of remote sensing specialists who also work on a Ramsar Convention on Wetlands / European Space Agency project – GlobWetland (  (Contact: Leon Schouten, email:

Press contact

Communications and Advocacy Department