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Investing in freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity: seminar at World Water Week 2018!

Investing in freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity: A key development challenge

Co-convenors: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Federal Ministry For Economic Cooperation And Development- BMZ and the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS Network) (tbc)

 

Conserving biodiversity and freshwater related ecosystem services is essential to help achieve the ambitious goals of Agenda 2030. Equally, ecosystems and the freshwater services they provide will be needed to achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Freshwater management is key for protecting and sustaining biodiversity. At the same time healthy ecosystems play a critical role in maintaining freshwater quantity and quality, and thereby support an array of productive uses essential for economic development. The negative impact of development activities on freshwater biodiversity has increased dramatically over the last 40 years. A range of dilemmas is apparent in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Achieving food security and reducing energy poverty is likely to create multiple trade-offs for freshwater management, biodiversity, and freshwater ecosystem services. Yet to achieve the ambition of the SDGs society must adopt wiser strategies for managing freshwater systems.

 

This seminar will elaborate on the role of freshwater in sustaining ecosystems, and the role of biodiversity in sustaining water quality and quantity. Furthermore, opportunities to balance the needs of human development with freshwater biodiversity conservation will be explored, including options for improving land use governance. Specifically, the seminar will link to the upcoming COP 14 for the CBD. The seminar will also develop key recommendations to link biodiversity and ecosystem protection to critical development needs. In addition, the seminar aims to highlight the challenge to improve development interventions that better recognise the freshwater systems they rely upon and impact.

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