Title: Science and Tools for Freshwater Conservation in an Urbanising World
Event type: Seminar
Date: 2011-08-25
Time: 09:00 - 12:30
Convenor: Conservation International (CI), King's College London (KCL), McGill University, Canada; The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) and WETWin Consortium
Room: T4

By 2030 up to 60 percent of humans may live in cities. This super-urbanisation will put increasing pressures upon freshwater ecosystems and critical ecosystem services delivered to cities. This session will present some of the decision-support tools available to assess human impacts on freshwater ecosystems and  provide guidance on sustainable management of freshwater resources. The session will include case studies from local to global scales that demonstrate how science, tools and conservation/water management frameworks are integrated within freshwater conservation and water resource management portfolios. Examples of such case studies include ecosystem service payments, global analysis of the impact of human related stressors upon fresh water, and evolving approaches for an improved management of wetlands. A focus will be on demonstrating how developing countries can justify conservation and meet their growing urban water supply needs.  During a concluding open discussion, with a panel, the potential opportunities and challenges of integrating decision support tools to facilitate greater protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems in an urbanising world will be outlined. An objective will be to make recommendations that may be brought to wider audiences, such as the World Water Forum, for improved policy making within freshwater conservation and water resources management frameworks.

Chairs: Dr. Ian Harrison, CI, USA; Dr. Mark Mulligan, KCL, UK; and Dr. Chris Baker, Wetlands International (WI), Netherlands.


Introduction. Dr. Chris Baker, WI, Netherlands.


Urbanisation and ecosystem services. Dr. Rob McDonald, TNC, USA.


Freshwater ecosystems: A global perspective of service delivery for human water security and biodiversity. Dr. Leo Saenz, CI, USA; in collaboration with the Global Water System Project/City University of New York Environmental Cross-Roads Initiative, USA.


HydroSHEDS - New data and tools to assess status and change of the Global River Network and implications for the world's cities. Dr. Bernhard Lehner, McGill University, Canada.


Better wetland management & integration of wetlands in river basin management: The WETwin project approach. Dr. Jan Cools, Antea Group.


Decision support system for wetland and catchment management based on modeling and expert judgment: Abras de Mantequilla wetland & Vinces-Chojampe subbasins in Ecuador. Dr. Mijail Arias Hidalgo, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, Ecuador.


Vulnerability of agricultural production in the Inner Niger Delta to water resources management under climate variability and change. Dr. Hagen Koch, Potsdam Institute, Germany.


Coffee break


Integrating Biodiversity Hotspots Data and Freshwater Biodiversity Data into Global Water Tool, Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool, and BioBrowser. Ms. Marielle Canter Weikel, Conservation International, USA; and Dr. Ian Harrison, Conservation International, USA/International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


WaterWorld: A tool for understanding land use and climate change impacts on hydrological ecosystem services supplied to the world's cities. Dr. Mark Mulligan, KCL, UK.


Can we imagine balancing multiple water management objectives in a modernising, urbanising, and warming world? WEAP as an example of a tool to help us try. Dr. David Purkey, SEI, US Center.


Panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Fred Boltz, CI, USA.


Conclusion and recommendations


Close of seminar

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