Meet Jeeban Panthi from Nepal


Born in a remote place of western Nepal, Mr. Jeeban Panthi completed his school level education from the village. Mr. Panthi has completed Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Tribhuvan University and has already taken two short courses from UNESCO-IHE, Netherland and KU Leuven, Belgium. Mr. Panthi has been working at a research based non-profit organization (The Small Earth Nepal) as Research Coordinator since 2009. His research interest is water and climate information making available to the end users in their understandable format so that they can adjust their lifestyles accordingly.

What is your motivation in water sector?

Water is a very ‘precious’ resource. Due to change and variability of climate in these days, the resource is under serious stress. The glaciers in upstream are melting and the sea level in the downstream is rising. The condition of ‘too much water’ that leads to flood and landslide and ‘too little water’ that leads to drought are the severe cases for the livelihood of the people particularly in developing world. Therefore, it is essential to understand the water availability in future under the climate scenarios.

What projects/campaigns/works related to water you are leading (or you have led)?

I have been actively coordinating two major research projects which are related to water, climate change and agriculture. ‘Runoff Scenario and Water Based Adaptation Strategy’ is one of the projects awarded by Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) under its ARCP programme. The project aims to generate the future runoff scenario in selected river basins of South Asia (Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh) in changing climatic scenarios and develop adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of water variability in rivers. Project URL:

‘Adaptation to climate change by livestock smallholders in Gandaki River Basin, Nepal’ is another project which I have been working since 2012. The project assesses the water availability for livestock and agriculture sectors for fodder and crop production. We have been evaluating the performance of few proven irrigation water efficient technology like drip irrigation. Project URL:

We have been coordinating the celebration the World Water Day (March 22) and World Meteorological Day (March 23) together under an umbrella network of ‘Nepal National Water Week’ since 2009. The network is a platform to more than fifty national level institutions: government line agencies, non-government organizations, academic and research institutions, private water companies and water related media from Nepal. The main aim of the network is to advocate the water issues (different for different years as decided by UN Water) among the policy makers and planners. We empower young water leader to organize various programs under the network. Project URL:

What are your success, failures and learning?

Success: Integration of more than 50 water related agencies in a single platform and more are joining day by day is a good achievement for our institution and me, which has been widely appreciated.

Failure: We planned and worked to establish ‘Nepal Water Forum’ since 2010 but it could not be formed in a way it was expected to be.

Learning: ‘Research and development’ needs to be transformed into ‘Research, demonstration and development’. I mean it is easier to develop and disseminate a technology when it’s effectiveness proven among the user community.

What do you think is the greatest water related challenge in your region and how can it be addressed?

For the countries like Nepal, water resource is not a big problem but its management. We have lots of fresh water and it is reported that Nepal is second richest country in fresh water resources after Brazil but we have been facing number of water related problem like severe power cut, soil moisture deficiency and drinking water scarcity in major cities. Technological advancement and their proper utilization are the key solutions for water management. Investment friendly environment to hydropower sectors, demonstration of low cost water efficient technologies, and water storage for drinking and irrigation purpose are the key sectors to be addressed for water security.

What one message you want to share with other water youth leaders?

Water is a resource if we can utilize it properly but is an agent of disaster if it is not understood clearly. In this connection, we are organizing a major event ‘International Conference on Climate Change Innovation and Resilience for Sustainable Livelihood’ 12-14 January 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. We seek to bring together eminent scientists, government agencies, development workers, and other relevant people/organizations to discuss promising new approaches in the area of climate change for integrating science, policy, and action. We will stress applications of scientific and technical research to promote rural enterprise and broad-based improvements in health, nutrition, and living standards. We call the young water leader to join hand with us for the gathering. Conference URL:

Jeeban Panthi – jeeban @