Submit an Abstract 2021

Abstracts closed


Thank you for helping create the program for the 24th International Riversymposium by submitting an abstract for consideration. We are currently reviewing all submitted abstracts and the first round of offers will be sent out by the end of May 2021. If you have submitted an abstract and have any questions, please feel free to email us at

We are excited to bring you the first ever hybrid International Riversymposium and look forward to continuing our tradition of giving you access to world-renowned keynotes, engaging session speakers, Learn-Inspire-Transform workshops and this year, we introduce RiverPitch sessions, that focus in showcasing/pitching solutions and/or impact projects for our rivers and waterways to potential investors.

This year’s theme is Recovery to Resilience – Leveraging Partnerships.

2021 Topics

Effective River Governance:

The management of the world’s rivers involves many stakeholders and in some cases, complex institutional arrangements. Effective institutional coordination, participation and partnerships between multiple stakeholders are critical to achieve resilient rivers. River basin organisations, catchment management authorities, river stewardship alliances, and other formal and non-formal bodies have all played important roles in river leadership.

This theme will include presentations on:

  • River Leadership
  • Decision Frameworks
  • Institutional Arrangements
  • Cultural Values and Governance


Financing for our Rivers:

Sustainable financing is important to repair the degradation that rivers are facing. Rivers are valuable assets to communities and economies. We need to link financial systems to our river ecosystems. We need to ensure financial security for our rivers through innovative mechanisms. This theme will include presentations on:

  • Valuing ecosystem services and rivers
  • Innovative finance mechanisms
  • Leveraging finance for rivers – river partnerships


Shaping River Solutions

In the face of ongoing and escalating threats, a paradigm shift is needed in the restoration and protection of our rivers.  The role of adaptive management – learning by doing approach – becomes more important. This theme will include presentations on:

  • Water-energy-food nexus
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Carbon neutrality
  • River restoration


Understanding River Systems and Communities

A systems approach acknowledges that people and rivers are inextricably linked. Understanding river systems as a whole is critical in the journey towards river resilience

This theme will include presentations on:

  • Stakeholder engagement and equity
  • River Health
  • River Connectivity
  • River Planning


Rivers & Covid

Social, environmental and economic aspects of society have been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This theme will explore the underlying vulnerabilities which the pandemic has exacerbated, new challenges that have arisen and in some cases, some surprising positive environmental opportunities and returns.


Rivers & Resources

Minerals, mining, manufacturing and other industries have a footprint in most of our world’s rivers. The interdependencies between these industries and our river ecosystems need to be understood, measured, and managed. This theme will explore the use of water in the resources industry and the impacts on rivers. The session will also showcase river stewardship investments.


Rivers on Fire

Raising awareness around the plights of our river systems during any sort of shock is important in combatting the effects and aiding recovery of these valuable resources.

The Rivers on Fire theme aims to understand the impacts, raise awareness, and create a call for action to address the effects of fire on our rivers and waterways.

Abstract guidelines

To express your interest in giving an oral (either virtual or face-to-face) presentation (12-15 minutes), you will need to submit an abstract with a catchy title; before you submit, here are the guidelines to consider:

  • Abstracts must be no longer than 300 words
  • Submissions on any topic related to the conference theme will be considered. However, please refer to our list of topics for guidance.
  • Abstracts can be submitted either for a virtual presentation or a face-to-face presentation.  Please note all virtual presentations will need to be pre-recorded and submitted by 16th September 2021
  • Submissions must include a short presenter introduction (up to 100 words). This will be used by the session chair to introduce you at the conference so please make it concise and relevant to your topic and area of expertise.
  • Abstract deadline is now extended to 30th April 2021
  • We will endeavour to confirm the outcome of all submissions by end of May 2021
  • If unsuccessful in securing a speaking space, a poster presentation may be offered as an alternative.
  • The IRS2021 Program Committee reserves the right to accept or reject any submission.
  • Presenters must register and pay to confirm attendance within 14 days of being accepted as a speaker or we reserve to right to withdraw our offer.  


What are we looking for? 

Abstract reviewers will consider the following:

  1. Relevance to the theme “Recovery to Resilience – Leveraging Partnerships” Demonstrates originality or novelty of the work proposed to be presented.
  2. Advancement Demonstrates a contribution to the topic – presenters should explain how their paper will contribute to improving global knowledge.
  3. Demonstrated results Demonstrates results or lessons learned, indicating that the work has been, or is nearly, completed.
  4. Quality Effectivelycommunicates achievements or lessons learned. Ensure the reviewer will understand the background of the issue/s and the objectives of the presentation.
  5. Ability to communicate Gives the reviewers confidence in your ability to give a presentation to an international audience by ensuring the abstract is concise and coherent.