Архив за месяц: Ноябрь 2009

Rivers without Boundaries Coalition

 The Rivers without Boundaries Coalition is a collaborative network of organizations and experts dedicated to preserving the health of transboundary river basins in northeast Eurasia through joint advocacy and promoting best practices in river management. To fulfill this mission we provide mutual assistance and share information among local grassroots initiatives, national and international conservation organizations, and decision-making bodies. Members lend their experience and insights to coalition-wide efforts, for example by participating in campaigns and engaging international conservation mechanisms to prevent the construction and mitigate the impacts of harmful water infrastructure projects on transboundary rivers.

In its efforts to protect northeast Eurasia’s transboundary river basins, the Rivers without Boundaries Coalition will:

  • Create and maintain an online information center on water resource conservation containing applicable domestic and international legislation, case studies, and access to international databases and support centers
  • Create an Expert Forum to give advice and support to coalition members and affected communities
  • Inform each other and the international community on transboundary water issues in northeastern Eurasia through regional and international media channels
  • Employ international conservation mechanisms like the Ramsar Convention and the UN Water Convention, forums, courts, etc.
  • Participate in the development of regulations setting limits for Allowable Environmental Impacts
  • Evaluate and report on regional and national water infrastructure facility plans
  • Integrate Environmental Flow requirements into river and reservoir management plans
  • Engage finance institutions and delivery/supply service providers to influence their clients that exploit relevant waterways
  • Conduct campaigns on river and lake watersheds and specific water infrastructure facilities
  • Individual coalition participants shall seek to cooperate with river management councils and/or other local decision-making bodies

Coordinators:

Eugene Simonov email and Audrey Wood email, Coordinators

Zhang Yadong email, China Coordinator

Ganbold Duvchigdamba email, Mongolia Coordinator

Alexander Kolotov email, Site Designer and Russian Information Coordinator.

Membership

  • interested organizations working on river and lake conservation in northern Asia
  • interested international conservation organizations;
  • expert committee comprised of independent specialists

How to join the Coalition:

All communities, organizations, and topical experts seeking to conserve transboundary rivers or wishing to share experience and resources with the Coalition to protect rivers and lakes should write to Coordinators Eugene Simonov and Audrey Wood. Please indicate your interest in joining and how you wish to contribute to the Coalition’s efforts.

Members as of November 10, 2009:

Plotina (Russia)

Dauria (Russia)

WWF — Russia

WWF — Russia, Amur Branch

Greenpeace — Russia

Fund 21st Century Altai (Russia)

Pacific Environment (United States)

ISAR, Siberian Branch (Russia)

Mongolia Rivers Movement (Mongolia)

Green Longjiang (China)

Zov Taigi (Russia)

Buryat Regional Organization for Baikal (Russia)

Baikal Environmental Wave (Russia)

Eyge (Russia)

Siberian Environmental Center (Russia)

Public Environmental Center of the Sakha Republic (Russia)

BROK (Russia)

Ecoclub-Novosibirsk (Russia)

Rodnik (Russia)

Riversymposium — keynote case-study on Amur and Argun

The Amur River: from the Daurian steppe to the Sea of Okhotsk — was the topic of the report delivered in Brisbane at riversymposium by Yury Darman — Director of Amur branch of WWF-Russia:

 

Water management in the Amur-Heilong River basin is largely unsustainable in all three basin countries and is based on very different premises and policies. Given current development patterns, these factors will lead to a massive use of water resources and to the construction of large reservoirs as the most effective means of water diversion. There is an obvious need for careful, international planning to adapt to climate change both in the Amur headwaters and across the entire basin as well. We can predict that current, wasteful water management policies coupled with projected climate change will:

  • further increase aridization of natural landscapes;
  • decrease surface water flows in river courses;
  • further decrease water resources available for use; and
  • increase levels of pollution in watercourses.

The most rapid change happens in Dauria, where the increasing occurrences of large-scale forest and grass fires in all three countries are well correlated to rates of global warming. The obvious and immediate threat in the sphere of water management comes from a series of water transfers planned for the already water-deficient Kherlen, Onon, Argun/Hailaer Rivers. A channel from the Hailaer River to Dalai Lake, is already almost complete and will divert at least 30% of the Hailaer/Argun River (1.05 km?) into China’s Dalai Lake. For the wetlands and agrarian communities downstream from the channel in China and Russia such a significant decrease in water supply would cause irreparable destruction. Reservoirs upstream from channel further reduce river flow and help to cut off floods that sustain Argun River wetlands.

We are reasonably sure that such water transfer will threaten globally important wetland ecosystems, water sources and probably even boundary demarcation in the area where the Argun River forms the China-Russia border. Such water policy precludes Russia, China and Mongolia from any coordinated, equitable and ecologically-sound transboundary water management regime in the Amur River headwaters and leads to major maladaptation to climate change. Argun River needs to secure internationally the environmental flow sufficient to sustain its floodplain wetlands. In contrast to these aggressive water transfer schemes and reservoir-building race, a more appropriate use of the Upper Amur would be to test international cooperation in adapting water use and conservation measures for large ecosystems characterized by periodic droughts. See fulll report here

Lake Ecosystem Restoration: Global Challenges and the Chinese Initiative

 World Lake Conference in Wuhan, China

The World Lake Conference is a series of academic conferences held every 2 years. It was first initiated by International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) in 1984. The following countries have hosted the World Lake Conference before: Japan, United States, Hungary, China, Italy, Argentina, Denmark, Kenya and India.
The 13th World Lake Conference took place from the November 1 to November 5, 2009, in Wuhan (Hubei, China). This year, the conference is jointly organized by Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences (CSES), Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) and Wuhan Municipality. Minister Zhou Shengxian of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection is the president of the 13th World Lake Conference.
The conference is a large-scale event pegged at the international level, and attended by officials, researchers, scientists, industrialists, and professionals from a variety of fields. The conference calls for a gathering of internationally renowned experts on lake environment, providing a platform for academic exchange and discussion on lake environment protection and management. The conference presents the latest strategies on lake protection and the sustainable application of these strategies, facilitating the sharing of best practices within the field.
The rapid economic and social development of China has left the 24,800 natural lakes in severely damaged condition. The issue of eutrophication is increasingly prominent, particularly in Taihu, Dianchi and Chaohu Lake. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the lake environment protection and adopts a series of measures to improve lake environments in China. In 2007, the Chinese Government put forth the strategy of «recovering the rivers, lakes, and seas under extreme stress» and carried out a major technological project for the «control and management of water contamination», investing heavily in technological measures to rectify the issue of water and lake environment contamination.
The theme of the conference this year is «Lake Ecosystem Restoration: Global Challenges and the Chinese Initiative». The conference highlights lake conservation and management as a global agenda that requires international cooperation and partnership. Its objectives are, to promote national and global efforts targeted at managing lake environments, create opportunities for collaboration and teamwork on the international level, and, inspire evidence-based best practices through the sharing of notable research and technological developments in the field.