Are current watershed management plans, and implementation of those plans, adequate to sustain ecological integrity and meet growing societal needs?
Do we know the importance of water to life? Do we realize that sustainable water supplies and good water quality are possible through sound watershed management? Are goals established and progress in meeting goals evaluated? Are management strategies improving the quality of life of humans and the natural capital that they depend upon? Is the importance of biological diversity considered and protected in managing watersheds? Are advanced scientific tools and contemporary decision making practices used in management? Is adaptive management practiced? Are there plans to decrease the impact of climate change? Is climate change being taken into consideration in current and future decisions? Are trans-boundary issues such as air pollution and aquatic transport considered within the scope of management decisions? Is there a commitment to stakeholder involvement and public education? Are there continuing observations of worldwide practices?
I am pleased to inform you that internationally distinguished scientists are leading representatives from 32 countries in a study to answer these questions and establish watershed management evaluation protocols. The first meeting was held in Istanbul, Turkey last year at the Sustainable Use Watershed Management Conference (SuWaMa). This conference was the first in a series and will be followed with an emphasis on promoting sustainable watershed management and expanding worldwide involvement.
The objectives of this study are:
To develop reliable and meaningful indicators and models which reflects present and future status of watersheds. The indicators and models will be tested in watersheds around the world to measure their representation capability.
To produce interactive programs for use of the indicators and models by watershed management councils and stakeholders to evaluate watersheds status in addressing sustainability.
To initiate an international Seal of Excellence Award program for sustainable watershed management. The award program will set forth an auditing system for continued recognition of advancements.
The study, resulting tools, and the associated work will be freely available on the IGEM Portal as well as presented at future SuWaMa Conference. This action will contribute to better management of watersheds worldwide.
I would like to invite all of you to contribute to this work. Please write me with your comments and ideas. You also are invited to participate at the SuWaMa 2013 Conference, 22-25 April 2013 in Turkey!
Prof.Dr. I. Ethem Gonenc
SuWaMa Conferences Chair,