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News and Events

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-:|   Catchment Science 2011: scientists, policy makers, farmers and land managers

14-16 September 2011

An International Conference aimed at scientists, policy makers, farmers and land manager. Jointly hosted by the Irish Agricultural Catchments Programme (Teagasc/DAFF) and the UK Demonstration Test Catchments Projects (Defra/EA).

Based on our RELU funded research the following presentations will be made at this conference:

  • Laurence Smith, Kevin Hiscock and Keith Porter, Integrating Science and Governance for Catchment Management, 16th September 2011.
  • Alex Inman, Laurence Smith, Kelvin Balcombe, Laurence Couldrick and Dylan Bright, Paying Farmers for Ecosystem Services: Costs and Characteristics of Long Term Agreements, 16th September 2011.
Source: Source: environment-agency.gov.uk
-:|   Defra & government announcement of adoption of the ‘catchment management approach’

23 March 2011

On World Water Day, 22 March 2011, Laurence Smith and Kevin Hiscock from the Catchment Management for Protection of Water Resources project team presented key findings from the project at the Water Stakeholder Forum organised by Defra in London. Their presentation highlighted the components of a template for catchment management, and supporting tools for catchment assessment, planning and knowledge exchange developed by the team including the Ecosystem Health Report Card and Extended Export Coefficient modelling approach. At the Forum, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon, announced the adoption of the ‘catchment management approach’ and explained its role in meeting the goals of the Water Framework Directive while integrating management of flood risk and water abstraction. He announced the launch of ten catchment management pilot schemes to be led by the Environment Agency and an invitation to other organisations to lead further examples. The Forum was chaired by Defra’s Head of Water Quality and was also addressed by the Chair of the Environment Agency and the Chair of Natural England.

-:|   Workshop and field visits with visitors from China

21 March 2011

In February and March 2011 the Catchment Management Resources network have been engaged in a scoping study for ‘Mitigation of Non-Point Source Pollution in China’. Working with partners from the Agro-Environmental Protection Institution, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing and other leading Chinese Universities, the team are exploring how the principles and approaches investigated in their RELU funded research may apply in China. A delegation from China visited from 15-19th March taking part in a workshop attended by other interested stakeholders at UEA in Norwich on 18th March, discussions with the RELU project team and field visits to the Defra-funded Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment project and to the Upper Thurne catchment used as case study in the RELU research. The work of the scoping study is funded by Defra’s International Sustainable Development Fund with co-funding from the Ministry of Agriculture in China. This study is a part of the China-UK Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAIN). SAIN was launched by the UK Secretary of State for the Environment and Chinese Minister of Agriculture in Beijing in 2008. SAIN is a key delivery vehicle for UK-China cooperation on agriculture, food security and environmental sustainability.

-:|   NRN Relu Short Course - Catchment Management & Public Engagement

1 February 2011

On 1st February 2011 in Newcastle the Northern Rural Network held a one day short course to present the findings of interdisciplinary research into the deployment of scientific expertise and innovative methods of public engagement to secure more effective management of water catchments; to examine mechanisms for inter-agency collaboration in the strategic management of water resources and mitigation of flooding events; and to explore, through case studies, how local solutions to the management of flood risk can be designed and facilitated.

Laurence Smith, SOAS, presented the key note address and strategic overview concerning “Catchment Management Approaches: governance for provision of environmental goods”.  Research findings from other RELU funded projects were also presented.

More information at:
http://www.northernruralnetwork.co.uk/

-:|   CeDEP Conference Explores Ways to Keep Water Safe and Free of Pollution

7 January 2011

Water supplies in many parts of the world are threatened by pollution in the 'catchment' areas where the water accumulates.

How best to protect the water and reduce pollution was the topic of a conference organised by researchers from CeDEP (SOAS), the University of East Anglia and Cornell University on 29 November 2010 at the Brunei Lecture Theatre, SOAS in London.

The conference marked the end of a three-year investigation led by Laurence Smith of the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy.

Delegates heard how a combination of international exchange and lessons drawn from successful programmes and piloting of approaches in the UK has led to principles and criteria presented as a ‘template’ for catchment management.

Despite weather disruptions and a tube strike, more than 80 delegates attended, including representatives from the Environmental Agency, Natural England, water companies, local government, farmers, environmental charities and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The conference concluded with a plenary discussion, and the project team hosted a further workshop with leading representatives of the Environment Agency, Defra and its Demonstration Test Catchment programme the following day.

The project is funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme of the UK research councils (ESRC, BBSRC and NERC), Scottish Government and Defra.

-:|   SOAS Water Group News September 2010

10 November 2010

Kate Bayliss was in Uganda (4th to 8th October) for fieldwork research for the UNDP project exploring the role of the domestic private sector in small towns in Uganda.

Laurence Smith visited research partners at Cornell University, USA, (18-22 October) to continue work developing a ‘template’ for catchment management for protection of water resources.

-:|   SOAS Water Group News September 2010

1 October 2010

Kate Bayliss was in Uganda (4th to 8th October) for fieldwork research for the UNDP project exploring the role of the domestic private sector in small towns in Uganda.

Laurence Smith visited research partners at Cornell University, USA, (18-22 October) to continue work developing a ‘template’ for catchment management for protection of water resources.

-:|   SOAS Water Group News September 2010

1O September 2010

Peter Mollinga taught on the politics of water and  IWRM for two days at Lund University, Sweden, in the LUCID PhD training programme.

Peter Mollinga participated in the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, where Water Alternatives and UNEP co-organised a session on the World Commission on Dams  + 10.

Peter Mollinga gave a presentation on ‘Models and Modelling’ at the IWE Research Day ‘Making Water Knowledge Work’ at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

Laurence Smith also participated in the World Water Week in Stockholm, presenting outcomes from research into catchment management strategies for the protection of water resources.

-:|   New research: Market-Based Mechanisms for Protection of Water Resources

30 July 2010

Laurence Smith and partner researchers at the University of East Anglia and Cornell University have been awarded a new project under the RELU programme’s 4th round "Adapting Rural Living and Land Use to Environmental Change" - a joint call with the Living With Environmental Change programme. Following from and building on existing research on Catchment Management for Protection of Water Resources also funded by RELU, the new project will partner and evaluate an innovative ‘Payments for Ecosystems Services’ (PES) scheme for water protection being developed by an environmental charity – the Westcountry Rivers Trust - in South West England.  

In the UK, changes in the hydrological cycle with climate change will have significant impacts. Predictions are uncertain but it is expected that we will have warmer and drier summers, and warmer and wetter winters. The possible changes in temperature and rainfall within our children’s lifetime are alarming as many of our catchments are already under stress from our high demands for water. Water quality has been improving but pollution with nutrients, faecal organisms and sediments from farming remains a concern. Urban runoff and remaining deficiencies in sewage treatment are also problems. The risk and severity of flooding seems to be increasing.

We need improved ways to protect water resources at source and alleviate flood risk. This requires the cooperation of land users and some change in their land use and farming practices. Attempts to achieve this to date have involved a combination of advice and capital grants backed up by regulation. This project proposes that what has been lacking has been the ability to provide incentives to landowners to go further in protecting water by setting aside the limited areas of land with most beneficial effect. Typically these will be steeper slopes or low lying, often waterlogged and along watercourses. Despite their lower productivity they are intensively farmed and their retirement will incur a loss in income. The project will investigate whether a PES scheme can address this. PES involves a voluntary transaction in which the beneficiaries of environmental services pay for their provision and the providers of those services get paid to provide them.

-:|   Presentation on catchment management at CIWEM 2010

30 July 2010

The team researching Catchment Management for Protection of Water Resources funded by the RELU programme and led by Laurence Smith gave a presentation “Sinking or Swimming? Surveying community based catchment groups” at the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management’s annual conference in April.

Source: CIWEM Anual Conference

 

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