Experts from India, China, Nepal, Australia and Singapore on Thursday stressed the need for regional cooperation to reduce risk of disaster and promote resilient livelihood in the Kosi river basin in Bihar and Nepal.
"There is urgent need for regional cooperation for effective use of knowledge to address reduction in risk of water-related disaster and vulnerabilities and to improve the livelihood in the Kosi basin," said Dr Eklabya Sharma, director of programme operations, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
Water expert Asit K. Biswas, a visiting professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, said India and Nepal have not cooperated to develop the Kosi basin in the last 30 years.
"If India and Nepal can work together, the river basin can be developed to generate hydroelectricity and higher growth," he said at a two-day knowledge forum workshop on disaster risk reduction and resilient livelihoods in the Kosi basin that began on Thursday.
Rayan Thew, first secretary-development, at the Australian High Commission in India, said regional cooperation will help understand the challenges and potentials for the socio-economic and livelihood improvement in the Kosi basin.
Prof Zhang Yili and Prof Chen Ningsheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences also supported regional cooperation to manage disasters in the Kosi basin.
The workshop has been organised by the Bihar state disaster management authority and ICIMOD.