Human civilization took its first major leap forward by the advent of agriculture practices and furthered it by the development of irrigated agriculture. Irrigation and drainage interventions lead to multiple advantages and opportunities by providing not only adequate agricultural water, but also adequate nutrition, employment generation and poverty reduction at the rural level especially in third world countries. The steady increase in world population, climate change, and frequent spells of droughts are some of the factors that need to be addressed in order to achieve food security and thus guarantee the very existence of human kind. The steady increase in population requires a sustainable growth in agriculture output in which the role of irrigation is of paramount importance and we need to work hard towards making it more accessible and reliable for the end users. Irrigation and drainage policies therefore need to be based upon scientiﬁc rationale, wider experience sharing and learning from the successful implementations around the world.
The 8th Asia Regional Conference (8ARC) is scheduled to convene during 2-4 May 2018 in Kathmandu with the theme of “Irrigation in Support of an Evergreen Revolution”. This is a great opportunity for the Nepal National Committee of ICID (NENCID) for hosting the event in collaboration with Department of Irrigation, the Government of Nepal and other partners.
I have complete confidence that this conference will provide an excellent forum for sharing experiences from different parts of the world in various fronts such as policy, successful practices, technology, scientific researches and awareness. It is expected that the deliberations will revolve around the concerns, issues, and challenges pertinent to food security in Asia and beyond. The papers cover a wide range of topics namely enabling farmers and water users’ institutions, coping with climate change, modernization of irrigation systems, ecosystem services and aquatic biodiversity. It is a matter of profound satisfaction that over 300 participants representing over thirty countries have expressed commitment to participate in the conference and more than a hundred abstracts have been received.
I would like to complement the efforts of all involved in organizing this conference and convey my best wishes that the papers and the presentations made during the conference will address the dire issues as stipulated in our subthemes as well as our main theme. Moreover, I believe that the conference will draw the attention of our policymakers towards the importance of irrigation in order to achieve food security and an Evergreen Revolution as the main theme suggests. Thank you and once again, my best wishes to all.
Nepal National Chapter on Irrigation and Drainage (NENCID)