Wetland and lake restoration
“World Congress for Wetland and lake restoration – Living lakes: Business and NGO partnership for climate change mitigation and adaptation”
Time: 7th to 9th of May 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Lakes and wetlands are particularly vulnerable against impacts of climate change. Only healthy lake ecosystems will be able to maintain their ecosystem services which are essential for human well-being.
EKLIPSE supported the 15th Living Lakes Conference: “Living Lakes Partnership of Businesses and NGOs for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. World Congress on Wetland and Lake Restoration” by co-financing a "speed networking" session. The conference offered intense exchange on the impacts of climate change on fresh water ecosystems, their ecosystem services and their biodiversity. Experienced NGOs, scientific institutions and local authorities from Europe and international level contributed to appropriate and efficient mitigation and adaptation strategies that will help protect the ecological functions of lake and wetland ecosystems and preserve their natural legacy for future generations.
Fig. 1: EKLIPSE presentation by Judith Fisher at the 15th Living Lakes Conference. Credit: Global Nature Fund
The Conference was focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation in lake and wetland regions. Conference delegates from governments, corporates and NGOs discussed and evaluated what – from municipal to federal level – can be done to contribute to an increase in the resilience of lakes and wetlands as ecosystems, as well as the resilience of local communities living around lakes, against negative impacts of climate change. The conference also looked at the role of business and their responsibility in contributing to strategies for the protection of water ecosystems and their crucial services.
The three-day conference was dedicated to:
Day I focused on the partnership of businesses and NGOs for lake and wetland restoration and management, with parallel sessions on:
- Organization, businesses and climate
- Watershed management, water footprint and other tools
- Payment for ecosystem services, project support, sponsoring: compensation or contribution or both?
This topics were presented by experts on the subjects.
On the Day II, participants went on a field trip organized to showcase the ecological & cultural values and ecosystem services and conservation initiatives of lakes and wetlands in the Nature Park Albufera de Valencia.
Day III focused on how to increase resilience of water ecosystems and their ecosystem services against impacts of climate change, highlighting the best practices in restoration and defining the role of businesses, society and NGOs in developing environmentally and socially responsible strategies to mitigate climate change and increase resilience against negative impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity. Emphasis was put on an interactive exchange and to build a connection at the science-policy-society interface.The “speed networking” session, thus, addressed 5 topics of discussion:
- Biodiversity Focus: How to efficiently include that in projects
- Climate change adaptation: restoration and/or resilience
- Participatory monitoring: How to ensure success in the long run
- Citizens science: How to empower citizens in bottom up actions
- Awareness and media. How to communicate and make actions visible.
Fig. 2: Discussion table during the “speed networking” session
Fig. 3: Wrap-up of the “speed networking” session
This conference targeted all stakeholders acting in the lakes basin and implicated in lake and wetland management, including: companies in economic sectors benefitting directly from lakes ecosystem services, farmers, fishermen, administrations and political decision makers on local and regional level, scientific institutions, NGOs and other representatives of local communities all through Europe.
The conference counted with 213 participants from all over the world, about 80 of which participated in the “speed networking” session.
Fig. 4: Map of Conference participants’ hosting country
Fig. 5: Stakeholder group of participants in the “speed networking” session (out of a 17/80 sample)