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Welcome to the International Waters Science Conference 2012 website

by Khristine Custodio last modified Jun 20, 2012 01:28 PM


A science conference for practitioners and academics to provide leadership in finding solutions for the
Earth’s most pressing Transboundary waters challenges

Twenty years of GEF International Waters (IW) projects have resulted in a wealth of knowledge. Much of the science used and generated during the projects is embedded in Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDAs). The recent three year study under the GEF UNEP-UNU IW:Science project has uncovered some of the key findings and success factors in enhancing the use of science in GEF IW projects. Click here to view the IW synthesis reports from this project. The International Waters Science Conference will provide a key forum for bringing these findings to a wider audience. Benefiting from lessons learned can significantly support new and ongoing projects in achieving better results.

The conference will provide a special series of sessions for project participants to share their science experiences with other experts. A Scientific Network will be inaugurated in April 2012 to work together in the lead up to the conference, addressing the themes and cross-cutting issues on “Setting IW Science Priorities for the Next Decade”. The conference will serve to provide both plenary and working sessions to share and finalise the findings.

In addition to the GEF IW:Science project, the findings of other GEF learning initiatives will provide central inputs for synthesis. These are:
• Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme
• Good practices and portfolio learning in GEF transboundary legal and institutional frameworks
• The Living Water Exchange – nutrient reduction best practices

Why the International Water Science Conference?

“GEF International Waters projects work hard to bring scientific information into processes for making better management decisions. The science conference makes it possible for international waters projects to share with each other the type of science that can be useful to inform decision-making. Additionally, targeted research needs will be identified for GEF to fill priority gaps.” Al Duda, former Senior Advisor International Waters, Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat photos1.jpg  photos1.jpg

The world's water resources are under enormous stress, and the ecosystems, people, and economic development that depend on these resources are facing a precarious future. Degradation of freshwater and marine systems, and surface as well as groundwater resources, is causing irreversible environmental effects, hardship for the poor, real losses to the economy, human health concerns, and the need for costly investments to mitigate the damage. The international water systems are important sources of income and food for a large part of the world's population, whose food and water supplies are now at risk.

The IW Science Conference provides an open opportunity for the science community and policy-makers to share ideas and exchange knowledge (including experience in implementing best water management practices at all levels), and to identify best approaches to governance and socio-economic issues, including responding to emerging issues and relevant follow-up.

Goal and objectives of the conference


The overall goal of the IW Science Conference is to provide a science/policy interface to discuss the status and management of water systems at the global, regional and local level, focusing on critical issues.

One of the main objectives of the IW Science Conference is to address project’s science needs, highlight science-based results and technological innovations achieved by the projects in the GEF International Waters portfolio over the past 20 years, but also to improve the measurement and delivery of results, inform the portfolio of new developments and emerging issues from relevant fields, enhance the use of science in the GEF IW portfolio and help set the science agenda for the IW portfolio. The conference aims to provide a forum to enhance the use of science and engage the science community in the GEF IW portfolio through knowledge synthesis and sharing.

The conference aims to facilitate interaction between experts concerned with the science and management of different water body types. The programme will be organized along the following interconnected water body types:
• River basins
• Lake basins
• Aquifer systems
• Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), coasts and open oceans

Three cross-cutting issues will also be looked at:

• Key science topics and identification of future targeted research areas, mechanisms for jointly engaging (local) science institutions, and effective management of the science-policy interface
• Impact indicators and how best to capture and codify long term science-policy impacts using
such indicators
• Effective knowledge management and mobilization with a focus on best practices for
transboundary water management.

Save the date

images4.jpgWe encourage you to mark the date on your calendars.You can save-the-date by following this link http://goo.gl/TD5h1 and adding the date to your calendar. For this purpose please press the red button.

Expected conference results

1.Enhanced understanding by decision-makers and scientists to facilitate science/policy interaction and feedbacks on the status of water systems and their management.

2.Sharing of ideas and knowledge by the science community and policy-makers (including experience of implementing best water management practices at all levels), and of best approaches to governance and dealing with jointly identified socio-economic issues, including responding to emerging issues and identifying innovative solutions.

3.An opportunity to address issues such as:

  • enhancement of the contribution of science to the governance of shared water systems;
  • contribution of science to the understanding of interlinkages between water systems;
  • provision of innovative inputs to the GEF Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and  Strategic Action Programme (TDA/SAP) methodology;
  • spatial planning and methodologies for environmental flow;
  • challenges of “green economy” with resource management for the future;
  • emerging issues;
  • contribution to a strategic framework for IW/GEF.

The Conference proceedings are currently only available at www.iwlearn.net/community. For any inquiries, please contact the Conference Secretariat at iwsc2012@iwlearn.org.

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