On 8th November 2017, Dhulikhel Municipality signed MOU with Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS), a lead policy-research institute to carry out research based policy actions on environmental management, climate change, water, urbanization, capacity building of local institutions, natural resource management and sustainable development among others in Dhulikhel Municipality. After almost 4 years of active and continuous involvement in research and study activities in Dhulikhel and its surroundings, SIAS and Dhulikhel municipality has taken this historical step. The three key objectives of the partnerships are as follows:
1. To share knowledge for promoting dialogue, mutual cooperation and innovations aimed at resolving challenges to secure sustainable conservation of water sources against climate change, urbanization and the spiraling growth of water demand.
2. To experiment and promote good practices of protecting water sources and optimizing the use of precious water.
3. To strengthen capacity of stakeholder institutions with research informed knowledge, policy innovations and practices in order to achieve the goal of sustainability including “Safe Water for All.”
The ceremony was attended by local elected representatives, municipal officials, Dhulikhel Drinking Water and Sanitation Users Committee representative, community representatives and SIAS officials. The event was facilitated by Kamal Devkota, senior research officer of SIAS.
On the occasion, Mr. Ashok Byanju Shrestha, the Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality mentioned that the research conducted by SIAS has been contributing to solve the future challenges of increasing water demand due to climate change impact and urbanization, policy formulation for strengthening local governance and resolving drinking water conflicts. He also appreciated about the initiative of ‘Pani Chautari’- a loose forum where stakeholders discuss on the water related issues and explore for solutions through awareness building, analyzing policies and forging cooperation. He also appealed for the future collaboration with SIAS in research and policy works. Mahesh Baral, executive officer of municipality highlighted that the municipal office can take benefits from the collaboration with SIAS in terms of knowledge sharing generated through research based activities. Ngamindra Dahal, Executive Director of SIAS stressed that the MOU has institutionalized tbe knowledge production and its uptaking in policy through a system. He highlighted that Dhulikhel is a model city mainly in community based water management and local leadership, however, facing challenge of climate change impact on water resources and the role of SIAS in piloting climate adaptive innovative water management solutions.