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World Water Week (September 5-11, 2010)

Raising the significant role of wetlands in maintaining fresh water flows for biodiversity and for people.

This year's World Water Week took place from 5-11 September in Stockholm. This year Wetlands International used the meeting to highlight the role that wetlands play in supporting people and biodiversity and the importance of water management to maintain these vital services (click to watch the presentation).

Action Description:

Notably, large scale infrastructure development planning and operation rarely incorporate the maintenance of ecosystem service delivery. There is an urgent need for safeguarding wetlands. If current trends continue, approximately 50% of the world will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030 and as a result inland freshwater ecosystems will have to deal with increasing stress and pollution. Climate change will most likely exacerbate these problems.


To that end, Wetlands International enabled discussion on this issue through its seminar on 5 September.


Seminar, 5 September
Wetlands International convened a seminar on 5 September that aimed to accelerate solutions to the challenges of maintaining ecosystems and related livelihoods in water management (click to watch the presentation), in particular in river basin management. The seminar titled ‘Maintaining ecosystems and related livelihoods through river basin management: challenges and solutions’ took place on Sunday 5 September, 14.00 – 17.30, in Room K23 and was co-convened with Soresma, Vituki, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and E-flowNet. Download the Seminar flyer or check the programme on the World Water Week website.


Workshop presentation, 7 September

Wetlands International, together with its partner organisation under the WETwin project, Soresma had been selected to present in Workshop 3 on Water Quality and Human Health. We presented preliminary results from our research in the Inner Niger Delta on the relations between human health and wetland management. The presentation was entitled "Mapping water quality and water-related diseases in a context of IWRM for the Inner Niger Delta of Mali (West Africa)" and took place at 09.50 a.m.


Other meeting points and events

During the week Wetlands International had a booth (EH05:20). At this location, on 7 September  at 7p.m. we launched the first global training module on wise management of ecosystems into climate adaptation strategies. Globally, there is a big gap in knowledge on this, in particular in the poorest parts of the world. This course, initiated by a partnership consisting of Wetlands International, WWF-US, Conservation International and the Cooperative Partnership on Water and Climate, deals with increasing the resilience of ecosystems as a strategy to reduce vulnerability of people against climate change impacts.


Throughout the week Wetlands International spoke in several other events:

Chris Baker moderated a panel discussion as part of the "International Year of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management: Science-Policy Interfaces" Seminar being convened by Conservation International. This took place on 9th August 2010.


Watch the presentation by Chris Baker: 

Maintaining Ecosystems and Related Livelihoods through River Basin Management: Challenges and Solutions


Presentations by other speakers at the seminar can be downloaded here to download the flyer of our Seminar



Watch the presentations




Problems from ecosystem loss


- Drainage and subsidence of coastal peatswamps, clearance of mangrove forests and the loss of coral reefs have made coastal areas more vulnerable to storms and allowed sea water intrusion.

- The loss and degradation of marshes such as on the Tibetan Plateau has reduced the capacity to store excessive rainwater.

- New settlements and farms in floodplains, protected by embankments have reduced the capacity of rivers to discharge large amounts of water in a safe way.

- Overexploitation of water for irrigation and the creation of hydropower dams have led to shrinking marshes and lakes in the Sahelian zone of Africa.