Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems in India's Northeastern Himalaya Region

Population growth, increased usage intensity and climate change impacts are increasingly threatening aquatic habitats and their ecosystem services in India’s northeastern Himalayan region. The project is helping to ensure the retention and sustainable use of this region’s unique ecosystems, which form the basis for the livelihoods of millions of people. Capacity-building in the affected Indian administrative and research institutions, as well as local user groups, aims to provide the resources and skills needed for the participative development of protective and sustainable usage models for aquatic natural resources in selected sections of rivers in four states. These usage models are then tested in the context of pilot projects. The establishment of local and international networks promotes knowledge sharing and the dissemination of good practice. In addition, the project is setting up an excellence cluster that will also remain active once the project completes.

Project data

IKI funding
4,700,000.00 €
01/2020 till 12/2024
Implementing organisation
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Political Partner
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) - India
Implementing Partner
  • Institute of Inland Fisheries Potsdam-Sacrow (Institut für Binnenfischerei e.V. Potsdam-Sacrow)
  • Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region - India
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) - India

State of implementation/results

  • In collaboration with the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), the Institute of Inland Fisheries (IFB) Potsdam, the respective research institutes in the four states and local residents, the extensive inventory of aquatic species began.
  • For the first time in India, the climate risks of aquatic resources in the north-eastern Himalayan region are currently being recorded and assessed.
  • Based on the training needs survey of 46 institutes, training modules on aquatic resource conservation and management are being prepared.
  • A methods manual for documenting traditional and local knowledge with a focus on aquatic resources was developed in collaboration with the University of Kent (England), which will be tested in the next step in the village communities of the pilot areas.
  • In Assam, the project is working with the non-governmental organisation Aaranyak to develop and implement the Integrated Wetland Management Plan (IWMP) for the Doloni wetland in the Bongaigaon district. This is of high ecological relevance due to its integration into a wide wetland complex. Furthermore, at the request of the Indian Ministry of Environment, the project supports the development of the IWMP for the politically sensitive Ramsar wetland Deepor Beel. The research partner in Assam is Gauhati University, which is currently identifying hotspots of endemic fish species in Assam.
  • In Manipur, the non-governmental organisation ATREE is implementing the pilot measure on a stretch of the Chakpi River in Chandel district. The research partner is Manipur University, which, apart from researching small indigenous fishes, is also updating the endangered status of aquatic species as per the so-called "Red List" of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) with leading researchers of the region.
  • In Meghalaya, a sustainable aqua-tourism concept is being designed in collaboration with the Meghalaya State Fisheries Research and Training Institute and with the village community's financial participation at the river section in Khliehshnong in Sorah District. The site is surrounded by an eleven-hectare forest area, which is traditionally protected. 1.5 hectares of the already degraded forest area were reforested with the local involvement of villagers in July 2023. The tree species were supplied by the forestry authority.
  • In Nagaland, Kohima Science College is already working with 25 households in Poilwa village in Peren District on the seven-kilometre stretch of the Tepuiki River. Through the income-generating activity of raising carp and native snails in the rice fields that the families cultivate daily, the 25 families manage to increase their income by between 20 and 40 euros a month.

Latest Update:


  • Current Project
  • Previous project
  • Follow-up project
  • Topic
  • Country selection

The link has been copied to the clipboard

Related news


Worldwide protection for wetlands and peatlands

read more