NLCDC
NATIONAL LAKE CONSERVATION

Background

Wetlands are important in terms of their ecological, economic, cultural and recreational values. These ecosystems produce a wide range of goods and services as well as income generating activities for people all over the world. It provides two broad values first is ecological values (wildlife habitats, maintained of environment, ecological balance etc.) second is economic values (as productive ecosystem, water supply etc.).

The Himalayan landscape of Nepal has tremendous topographic diversities followed by diversities of lakes and wetlands ways down from the Himalayan high altitude to lowland Terai. Lakes/wetlands provide water for irrigation, maintains biodiversity, enhancing livelihoods of people through eco-tourism, a basis for cultural and spiritual development and so on. There are different studies and reports that Nepal is a bearer of more than 6000 rivers, 3,252 glaciers, 2323 glacial lakes and several tectonic and ox-bow-lakes.Among them,  NLCDC has enlisted 5,358 lakes in Nepal during its map based inventory conducted program in 2009.

Freshwater on the earth’s surface are critical elements of the hydrological cycle, aquatic biodiversity and provide livelihoods and social, economic and aesthetic benefits that are essential for the quality of life in Lake Basin communities. Globally over 90 percent of the freshwater either they are in natural or artificial.

Lakes of Nepal are Himalayan in nature. They are the water tower of Asia, homes to many Ramsar sites, transboundary in nature, biodiversity hotspots and high religio-cultural values. Wetlands are important habitat for biodiversity of flora and fauna varying from permanent fast flowing rivers to seasonal streams, from high altitude glacial lakes to lowland ox-bow lakes, from ghols to swamps and marshy land, from river flood plains to paddy fields and from man-made reservoirs to village ponds.

The Himalayan landscape of Nepal has tremendous topographic diversities followed by diversities of lakes and wetlands ways down from the Himalayan high altitude to lowland Tarai. Lakes/wetlands provide water for irrigation, maintains biodiversity, enhancing livelihoods of people through eco-tourism, a basis for cultural and spiritual development and so on. There are different studies and reports that Nepal is a bearer of more than 6000 rivers, 3,252 glaciers, 2323 glacial lakes and several tectonic and ox-bow-lakes. A map based inventory conducted by NLCDC enlists 5,358 lakes in Nepal (2009).

Lakes of Nepal are culturally important in higher altitude areas for example Jatapokhari, Pach Pokhari, Gosai Kund, Maipokhari and so on. The midhill lakes are beautiful. In Tarai, lakes and wetlands are productive for agricultural activities. However, according to Census 2001 about 21 percentage of Nepali ethnic group are directly belonging to water.

State and conditions of mountain lakes and wetlands are still unheard of. Considering overall development, government of Nepal has envisioned lake and wetland issues as one of the national agenda to address people`s livelihoods. Such government`s commitment has been observed in the formulation of National Wetland Policy in 2003 and establishment of the National Lake conservation and Development Committee in 2007. Since its establishment NLCDC has been committed to execute lake conservation and development program at national and local level by following its vision, mission and objectives.