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Seminar on the role of
ecosystems as water suppliers
CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
• Ecosystems management is part of IWRM
• Basic understanding of ecosystem approach is still
to be promoted
– at all political levels
– in all sectors
• Emphasize the related benefits of protection,
sustainable use and restoration of ecosystems
– water management (quality, quantity, sediments)
– natural disasters prevention, protection and
reduction
• Complex problem  need to develop a wide
range of technologies
– Need to monitor
– Need to develop assessment methods
– Need to share experience across sectors
• Need for multidisciplinary coordination and
cooperation
• Any action should be taken at basin level
– Not forgetting groundwater
– Not forgetting transboundary aspects
– Impact on marine environment
Legal and administrative dimension
in general
• New developments in legal regimes
(holistic approach to water management,
sustainable management of environment,
ecosystem as legitimate water user, synergies
between international water and environmental
legal regimes, compliance mechanisms, ….)
Legal and administrative dimension
in the national context (1)
• Need for appropriate legislation and support
remains
• Need for a reduction of fragmentation between
governmental institutions in ecosystems protection
and sustainable use
• Updating of water laws (many EECCA countries)
provides opportunity to include ecosystems
Legal and administrative dimension
in the national context (2)
• Issues to be regulated include:
Competence of ministries (also finance/capital
investment)
Coordination between sectors/activities
Public information and participation
Role of water user associations
Provision of water rights
Legal and administrative dimension
in the national context (3)
• Issues to be regulated also include:
Coordinate funding for water management
between the different competent authorities
Involve the private sector (hydropower,
farmers and foresters), into financing
measures
Legal and administrative dimension
in the transboundary/international context (1)
• Opportunity to harmonize practice on ecosystems
when updating/preparing bilateral and multilateral
agreements
• Use MEAs (Ramsar, climate, biodiversity, ECE
environmental conventions) and activities
thereunder as tools for coherent water
management; counteract/avoid further
fragmentation
Legal and administrative dimension
in the transboundary/international context (2)
• Participate in activities of joint bodies (Danube,
Black Sea, etc)
• GEF, World Bank, bilateral funding agreements,
should be further used for the restoration of waterrelated ecosystems as well as to find options for
their conservation and sustainable use
• Importance of knowledge-based decision (I)
– Valuation of ecosystems services (goods,
water, culture, landscape…)
– Cost-benefit analysis
conservation/development
– SEA and EIA
– Need for further research on ecosystems needs,
functions and services delivered
– Ecosystems for climate change mitigation and
impact of climate change on functions of
ecosystems
• Importance of knowledge-based decision (II)
– Use of modern techniques and decision-making
tools (GIS, remote sensing, inventories) as well
as traditional knowledge
– Tailor-made information
– Free of charge information exchange
(upstream-downstream, at national and
transboundary levels, among all involved
sectors)
Implementation tools
• Training and capacity building at all levels
• Public participation, especially at local level
where action takes place (gender)
• Use of economic tools such as payments for
ecosystems services
• Upstream/downstream solidarity
• Private sector involvement (economic
aspects and sharing of good practices)
Challenges
– Poverty reduction: show benefits for local
population (economic and social
development, reduction of environmental
refugees)
– Strike a balance between conservation
and development
– Practical implementation