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Water as a window of opportunity?

How can negotiators who hold divided interest make concrete decisions? Can science help collective negotiation sessions visualize future outcomes? According to Dr Irna van der Molen, the long-term perspective is shaded with tints of optimism by building trust, finding scientific solutions and showing through scenarios how the changing landscape will be affected by various choice. A report.

 
Water for Growth and Development in Africa

The World Water Council has released a new publication: «Water for Growth and Development in Africa». The report wishes to convey a global message to those working both inside and outside the international water community: Wise investments in managing and developing Africa’s water resources are integral to the future growth and prosperity of the continent. The questions of what, where and how to invest are at the heart of this report.

 
Sharing the water, sharing the benefits: Lessons from six large dams in West Africa

Over 150 large dams have been built in West Africa over the last 50 years. Many more are in the planning stages to meet the region’s demands for energy, water and food. Their reservoirs will displace many thousands of people. Success in resettling affected people and in rebuilding their livelihoods has been mixed in the region. This publication reviews detailed experience from six dams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal through the lens of ‘benefit sharing’ with local populations, which asks to what extent the affected communities have indeed benefited from the dam and how the multiple positive consequences from water use have been shared between different actors. The lessons learned from these experiences can guide future decision making.

 
Improving the evidence for ecosystem-based adaptation

Ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation integrate the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy for helping people adapt to climate change. The body of scientific evidence that indicates how effective they are is in some cases lacking but in other cases is dispersed across a range of related fields, such as natural resource management, disaster risk reduction and agroecology, from which it needs to be synthesised. Without presenting and strengthening this evidence in a consolidated way, ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation cannot secure the policy traction at local, national and international levels that it merits.

 
Complex and Dynamic Implementation Processes: new book on water governance

«Complex and Dynamic Implementation Processes: Analyzing the Renaturalization of the Dutch Regge River» is a new book by Cheryl de Boer and Hans Bressers, University of Twente. They have assembled the results of over two years of research about the renaturalization efforts of the Regge River in the Twente region (NL). The authors provide a careful evaluation of the many different projects over the last decade as part of the long term vision for the River Regge.

 
PhD candidate «Assessment of the impact of climate change on the stocks and fluxes of nutrients, toxicants and pathogens at the river basin scale»

This four-year PhD position is offered within the department of Physical Geography at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, in collaboration with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment – RIVM in Bilthoven (the Netherlands) and the Soil Quality section at Wageningen University (the Netherlands). The PhD project is part of the RIVM-funded «Climate Cascades» project that involves two parallel PhD projects.

 
The State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture: new FAO report

A new FAO report profiles the state of the natural resource base upon which world food production depends. The State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture (SOLAW) notes that – while the last 50 years witnessed a notable increase in food production – »in too many places, achievements have been associated with management practices that have degraded the land and water systems upon which food production depends«. Today a number of those systems »face the risk of progressive breakdown of their productive capacity under a combination of excessive demographic pressure and unsustainable agriculture use and practices«, the report continues. No region is immune: systems at risk can be found around the globe, from the highlands of the Andes to the steppes of Central Asia, from Australia’s Murray-Darling river basin to the central United States.

 
Groundwater Governance Project: Launch of Regional Consultation Workshops during UNESCO’s 36th General Conference

In January 2011, UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) – together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the World Bank – initiated a new project on Groundwater Governance: A Global Framework for Country Action. This three-year project is working closely with the Member States, the main actor in the management of groundwater resources. Under the responsibility of UNESCO’s IHP network, the Regional Consultation Workshops (RCW) are a fundamental component of the Groundwater Governance project.

 
Decision making in a changing climate: World Resources Report 2010-2011

The United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank and the World Resources Institute have released the World Resources Report 2010–2011: «Decision Making in a Changing Climate». The publication explores challenges and offers recommendations for national-level government officials to make informed and effective decisions to respond to the changing climate.

 
Transforming Landscapes – Transforming Lives: the business of sustainable water buffer management

A brand new book about sustainable land management, the development of water buffers and the business case underneath it. As part of the discussion on the green economy it shows that investments in natural resource management make sense business-wise. While the parameters for investments in land, water and vegetation cover may be different – and returns may not always be immediate – both the financial payback and the economic dividend of investments in integrated landscapes, when done properly, are rewarding. As investments in sustainable land and water buffers will transform lives and economies, the social impact will become important. A buffer gives a sense of security and the reassurance that one’s livelihood is secured – something sought-after in a world of growing stress and climate change risks.

 
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