Keeping rivers alive: Knowledge to practice

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Keeping rivers alive: Knowledge to practice

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Date: Tuesday, 13 September
Time: 15:30 – 17:00

Free-flowing rivers – rivers that maintain a high level of connectivity and natural flows – are the freshwater equivalent of terrestrial wilderness areas. In many places, free-flowing rivers are crucial for carrying sediment downstream, bringing nutrients to floodplain soils, maintaining floodplains and deltas that protect against extreme weather events, and providing recreational opportunities or spiritual fulfilment. Almost everywhere that free-flowing rivers remain, they are home to vulnerable freshwater biodiversity. However, the world is in the midst of a global hydropower boom – particularly in the global South – such that free-flowing rivers are under threat and likely to become even rarer than they currently are. In this session we will explore efforts to identify high conservation value free-flowing rivers, efforts to restore environmental flows and policy and regulatory issues across the globe to keep rivers connected and free-flowing. Drawing from experiences at local, national and global scales, this session will discuss approaches and strategies and potential road map to keeping rivers connected.

 

Session Chair: Dr Dave Tickner, WWF-UK

Presentations

  • Global mapping of Free-flowing rivers: Preliminary results for review
    Dr Guenther Grill, McGill University
  • Wild rivers of Uttarakhand
    Suresh Babu, WWF-India
  • The Mexican Environmental Flows and Water Reserve Standards: An Innovative Mechanism for Protecting Rivers
    Rafael Sanchez Navarro, representing WWF-Mexico
  • Case studies of Protection Mechanisms for Rivers
    Michele Thieme, WWF-US

 

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