Virgilio Hermoso: Future of freshwater ecosystems: utopia or dystopia in the face of climate change?
Luis Arranz: The war of conservation
“Future of freshwater ecosystems: utopia or dystopia in the face of climate change?”
The world's fresh water ecosystems continue to experience heightened pressure, because of strong human dependencies. Human development relies on fresh water for drinking water, agriculture, and increasingly for energy. These dependencies and pressures continue despite uncertain futures due to climate change. Hydropower in particular, and its growing footprint across many regions of the world, deserves special attention because of growing support for its expansion through recent international initiatives, including the COP21 Paris Agreement. With expanding pressures, and high uncertainty about future climate, new approaches to water management planning are needed to secure the persistence of freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services, while attending to the demand for resources. Virgilio Hermoso will introduce the complexities of catchment planning as well as several novel planning approaches, giving special attention to hydropower development and climate change. Hermoso is a Ramon y Cajal Research Fellow at the Forest Science Centre of Catalonia. His research interests focus on developing new approaches to guide decision-making for conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. He is also interested in the study of threats to freshwater biodiversity, especially on the interactive effects of habitat degradation and introduced species.
”The war of conservation”
As the current war against poaching in Africa wages on, conservationists are fighting a losing battle. Despite increased resources being directed towards protected areas, corruption and mis-management continue to thwart real achievement. Unfortunately, this situation is not new; however we have reached a critical point where we have no longer time to continue making the same mistakes. What must be changed to shift the paradigm? Luis will discuss his experience in Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas, Central African Republic and Garamba National Park in DRC, and propose a new strategy for combatting these ongoing problems. Luis Arranz began to work in Equatorial Guinea in 1980, first doing tree census and then for the Project Men and Nature funded by the Spanish cooperation to create a network of protected areas in the country till 1986. Between 1986 and 1990, he worked in South America, redacting the management plan for Huanchaca National Park (now Noel Kempf Mercado NP) in Bolivia and looking for places to create protected areas in Bolivia Brazil and Venezuela. In 1991, Luis returned to Africa working in Quissama NP, Angola for one year and then 9 years as Director of Monte Alén NP in Equatorial Guinea, 7 years as Director in Zakouma NP in Chad, 7 years as Director in Garamba NP in DRC, and 3 months as Interim Director in Odzala Kokoua NP in Congo Republic. Since January 2017, he works for WWF in Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas in the Central African Republic.