Karnali River Scientific Expedition 2018

In September and October of 2018, the Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) organized a 44-day scientific expedition from the headwaters of the Karnali River in Tibet/China, through Nepal, to its confluence with the Ganges River in India. The interdisciplinary expedition team consisted of seven scientists, three research assistants, an environmental journalist and a documentary photographer.

During the expedition, the team traveled about 1,080 kilometers along the Karnali River, moving mainly by foot and by raft, complemented by a few days of vehicle travel as required in China and India. The purpose of this expedition was to collect data throughout the Karnali river system in Nepal and to document the outstanding sociocultural and environmental values of the Karnali region. Understanding the socio-environmental values of the Karnali will help policymakers improve regional planning. Overall, NRCT seeks to promote dialogue about sustainable development in the Karnali region, and the possibility of establishing a Sacred River Corridor along the main-stem of the Karnali River.

Outcomes of the expedition:

    1. Karnali River Corridor Management Framework
      This report (Karnali River Corridor Management Framework) possible by
      the support of the American People through the United States Agency for
      International Development (USAID) and other different
      institutions who supported us in 44 days scientific expedition of Karnali
      River from the Origin in Tibet to Ganges in India.
      <<<Find the Framework>>>> 
    2. Strategic Considerations for River Conservation Legislation in Nepal 

      Designed as a companion document to the Karnali River Corridor Management Framework,
      this report highlights several key considerations that could guide the process of creating river
      conservation legislation in Nepal, focusing on the Karnali River basin. This document was
      prepared in the wake of the Karnali River Scientific Expedition of Fall 2018, to examine the
      different possibilities for conserving the Karnali River, as well as the aquatic species and
      cultural practices that a flowing Karnali supports. This report includes several strategic
      recommendations for protecting rivers in Nepal, beginning with the Karnali. This document
      is also intended to encourage and assist with the development of legislation that could be
      implemented at the local, provincial and/or national scale to protect river systems or sections
      of rivers in Nepal.
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