In this new discussion phase, we shall contribute with ideas and experiences relating to the topics below. To get it started, I took the liberty of sharing my thoughs about them:
How can education and capacity building for water be enhanced to ensure healthy ecosystems?
A: By establishing a clear nexus (including quantification and valuation) between water and ecossystem conservation and the resulting hydro-environmental services, which would benefit both the ecossytems and society.
In relation to water and ecosystems, what opportunities do new technologies offer for the improvement of water monitoring? What about for information communication technology (ICT) and decision/policy making?
A: Water monitoring is a key activity in the water planning and management process. In addition to newly developed water quantity and quality sensors and sondes, practical and inexpensive techniques such as bioindicators (water biotic indices, SVAP, etc) could be utilized by local communities and farmers, to assess the health of their water ecossystems.
How do international cooperation initiatives enhance water capacity development to ensure healthy ecosystem?
Welcome to the Ecosystems Online Consultation of the WWF8!
Your contribution is very important for the success of the Forum. Hope to see you all in Brasilia in 2018.
Henrique Chaves - moderator
2 years 9 months
Thank you for your contribution. Chemical contamination is indeed an important issue within the Ecosystems theme of WWF8. In fact, we are looking forward to have a session/topic about it, including pesticides and BMPs that can be used to reduce water contamination risk.
2 years 9 months
Indeed, stakeholder awareness is key to water security in developing countries. A good education is always a cornerstone in that regard. Another is communication.
Although science had provided solutions for most water related problems, there is still a bottleneck separating them from management at the local level.
A great challenge is to break that bottleneck.
Incentive-based (and not only punitive) legislation is one of them.
Could this be a potential topic for WWF8?
2 years 9 months
De acordo, Malu. Poderíamos acrescentar no resumo as contribuições do Carlos e Brighton, onde o Pagamento por Serviços Ambientais poderia ser parte de uma legislação transparente e pró-ativa de recursos hídricos, de modo que produtores, usuários de água pudessem estabelecer claramente o nexo entre a prática de manejo e o serviço ambiental gerado.
2 years 8 months
I´ll try to summarize the posts of the last 2 weeks, which were very interesting and useful:
1. Water is a key resource for all, but not adequately considered as so.
2. The nexus of soil & water use and the role of ecosystems in providing the necessary ecosystem services was stressed.
3. Both water quantity & quality issues were discussed, with their corresponding impacts (water shortages, water contamination, etc.) following deforestation and urbanization.
4. Examples of best management practices-BMPs that could mitigate the above issues were presented, including NY's Catskill Project, and Brazil's Water Provider Program.
5. The nexus between ecosystem conservation and the corresponding ecosystem services generated was suggested. ES should not only be quantified, but also valued, and appropriate (and simple) indicators could be used for that matter.
6. Access to information, communication and funding was also stressed by the participants, as relevant aspects of a sound ecosystem-based water resources management.
2 years 8 months
A tentative summary of last week's contributions by the forum participants is presented below. Some comments are made in each of them, in parenthesis.
1. Sensitive hydrologic and ecologic ecosystems must be protected, specific legislation or other types of control (in my opinion, enforcement is only part of the solution, the other being incentive-type mechanisms, such as PES. The latter is generally more effective)
2. The access to river and other water bodies during water measurement and other monitoring processes is offen hindered by several mechanisms. It should be facilitated, if a sound water assessment is to be warranted (in Brazil this access is legally guaranteed to water monitoring agencies. There is not, however, incentives or adequate legislation for land owners and riparian population to help with the water monitoring process, and this should be sought).
3. Though recent advancements were achieved in Africa regarding water legislation, there are countries such as S. Africa that are having difficulties in implementing them (this also happens in Brazil and other countries of S. America, where the people, though empowered by the new legistation to co-manage water, still see the governments as the leading player in the process. Stakeholder empowerement, however, is only obtained by knowledge and effective participation).
4. The downstream enviromental impacts of the Doce river disaster in Brazil could and should be addressed by appropriate reclamation technologies and initiatives, such as soil and riparian restoration (again, command and control-type enforcement is important, but incentive-based reclamation, including PES with the participation of the riparian landowners and other local inhabitants, are more effective in achieving the restoration goals. For that matter, the ecosystem services provided by the restoration initiatives - and their valuation - is a key driver for a sound rehabilitation program, using the funds generated from from the disaster fines. I agree that research on land and river reclamation could be carried, and the results applied in the basin. Considering the complexity of the disaster and reclamation process, it is suggested that an ecohydrologic and adaptive management' approach be sought. UNECO-IHP has interesting initiatives in that regard: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/venice/natural-sciences/water/ecohydrology/ )
5. The issue of cummulative impacts of hydropower plants along a river is an important issue. Dam design (lake size, lake area/power ratio, fish ladders) and operation (ecological flows, etc.) are issues that should be decided by ALL stakeholders, including the hydropower sector, ecologists, and local population, as well as other water sectors (navigation, irrigation, etc.) - (The recent advancements in dam design in the Brazilian Amazon region, including Santo Antonio and Jirau, which have significantly reduced their original footprint (e.g., lake size, dam height, and sediment retention), and mitigated fish migration problems (fish ladders), could serve as a laboratory for future hydropower planning in the Tropics).
Henrique - Moderator
2 years 8 months
Prezado Davi e Colegas,
Apesar de ser válida a contribuição abaixo, relativa as causas e consequências da crise hídrica do DF, seria mais produtivo que as futuras postagens deste Fórum se ativessem ao nosso tema (Ecossistemas e Água), descritos no cabeçalho acima.
Nesse sentido, e filtrando um pouco a longa postagem abaixo, entendi que é importante a proteção das nascentes dos dois principais mananciais que abastecem os reservatórios de água do DF.
Instigando um pouco essa discussão para torná-la mais produtiva, pergunto:
1) Quais seriam os mecanismos de gestão de recursos hídricos e ambientais mais eficientes para a proteção desses mananciais de abastecimento?
2) O investimento necessário para sua implementação seria maior ou menor do que os prejuízos econômicos gerados pela crise?
3) Como convencer a sociedade civil consumidora de água de que esses investimentos são importantes?
Henrique - Moderador
2 years 7 months
Thanks for your contribuition of themes, suggestions, and comments to this Ecosystem consultation forum.
Below is a list of tentative subjects discussed during the past months for your review and vote. I tried to incorporate as much as possible the contributions and organize them in themes, to facilitate the selection process.
1. Management alternatives to maximize land use and water quantity & quality.
2. Ecosystem conservation and hydrologic services.
3. The role of information, communication & funding on ecosystem and water conservation.
4. Incentive-based mechanisms and legislation for water and ecosystem conservation.
5. Ecohydrology and the reclamation of degraded river systems.
6. Mitigating the environmental impacts of dams using the ecosystems approach.
7. Evaluating the cummulative impacts of surface and groundwater use in river basins.
Henrique - Moderator.
2 years 7 months
We are now in the process of revising the proposed themes for the Ecosystem topics & sessions of WWF8.
Next week I'll post the revised themes for voting. Your participation is important. Vote!