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IWRM and ecosystem based approaches: seminar at #WWWeek 2018!

IWRM and ecosystem based approaches: Complementary, duplicating or competing?

 

Co-conveners: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Global Water Partnership (GWP), The Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management (S2S Platform), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (tbc) and the Global Environment Facility – International Waters (GEF-IW) (tbc)

 

Water plays multiple roles in ecosystems and society. Yet, the dependency of human wellbeing on ecosystems has been given insufficient attention whence, historically, narrow economic pursuits have been given priority over environmental concerns. This is addressed through ecosystem based approaches.

Through integrated water resources management (IWRM), managers and stakeholder are to deal with the complex task of securing and balancing water for people, industry, food production, navigation, hydropower and the environment. Yet, the perspective of the recipients (the water bodies receiving the flows of used water), is a dimension that has often gone missing or being the second-order priority.

This particularly affects coastal zone ecosystems, which are among the most productive and the most threatened ones on the planet, and whose management has fallen in-between the mandates of responsible authorities.

Agenda 2030 sets out to implement IWRM at all levels (target 6.5). Target 14.1 highlights the source-to-sea continuum in its ambition to prevent and reduce marine pollution, particularly from land-based activities, and target 15.1 subscribes to an ecosystem approach.

 

This seminar will discuss the ecosystem dimension of IWRM. How is the maintenance of ecosystem services accounted for in IWRM? What are the conflicts or complementarities between IWRM and ecosystem based approaches? How can enhancing ecosystem functions support the implementation of IWRM? What mechanisms and incentives exist to help stakeholders collaborate and overcome sectorial and geographic confines? How can the Agenda 2030 help integrate action of interlinked goals? We invite cases illustrating applications and interlinkages of IWRM and ecosystem based approaches.

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