Sustaining freshwater ecosystem services in wilderness, protected areas and general use landscapes

This three part session will examine the science and tools available to address the threats to freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide to nature and human communities.

Introduction. Ian Harrison, IUCN/CI (2 minutes).

Section 1: Overview of valuation of freshwater ecosystem services and protection of natural freshwater systems.
a) Discussion of the challenges of measuring ecosystem services and quantifying values of the services considering evolving market mechanisms as well as government and community payment schemes. Illustrated by case studies. Andrew Deutz, International Government Relations Department, The Nature Conservancy. (12 minutes + 3 minutes questions).
b) Ecological restoration of Chilika Lake, Orissa. Taej Mundkur, Wetlands International. (12 minutes + 3 minutes questions).

Section 2 – Tools for measuring services.
a) Global perspectives of service delivery for human water security. The Global Wetland Observing System and the Watershed Health Index. Ian Harrison, IUCN/CI and Nick Davidson, Ramsar (10 minutes + 3 minutes questions).
b) Discussion of the USDA Forest Service ´Forests to Faucets´ project. The Forests to Faucets project is a tool to model and map land areas most important to surface drinking water, the role forests play in protecting these areas, and the extent to which these forests are threatened. The project provides a basis for identifying watersheds where a ´payment for watershed services´ project may be an option for financing conservation and management on forest lands. Emily Weidner, USDA Forest Service, Office of Ecosystem Markets. (12 minutes + 3 minutes questions).

Section 3 - Panel Response and Discussion (Identifying challenges and purposes of freshwater services valuation). 60 minutes.
This section will start with short presentations (5 minutes maximum) from three panelists. Each panelist will be asked to address four or five provocative questions posed by the moderator. Panelist presentations will be:

a) Challenges to a continental approach - the need to expand protection of freshwater resources- Vance Martin, WILD Foundation.

b) The importance of protecting water-based ecosystem services in developing countries and newly industrialized countries - Andrew Rhodes, Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas, Mexico.

c) Synthesis of science challenges - Alan Watson, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute.

Following the short presentations, the session will open to an interactive discussion between the panel, moderator, and audience. The discussion will respond to the comments made by the panelists and information provided in sections 1 & 2. The discussion will provide a further opportunity to discuss challenges to freshwater ecosystem valuation, and will seek solutions to some of the remaining problems in valuation and protection of freshwater ecosystem services.

The discussion will conclude with a 5 minute wrap-up, from the moderator.

Geographical scope:

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Average: 4.7 (6 votes)
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