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World Wildlife Fund Hosts "Securing Water for People and Nature in a Changing Climate'

Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Symposium, November 3-4, To Focus on Climate Impacts on Freshwater Ecosystems and Species; Available Via Live Webcast

WASHINGTON DC, October 23, 2009 – World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will host “Securing Water for People and Nature in a Changing Climate” – the 2009 Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Symposium – on November 3-4, 2009, at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. 

This year’s symposium will feature presentations from experts in the fields of water security, climate change and freshwater biodiversity.  Admission to the symposium is free; the entire symposium is also available via live webcast.

The program will provide a state-of-the-science review of climate impacts on freshwater systems, challenges to freshwater ecosystem conservation, the role of adaptation in water management, and will provide a platform for the development of an adaptation-based “conservation agenda”.

The symposium will address the fact that although water is basic to life, humans have devastated freshwater ecosystems in order to meet the demands of population growth and economic development.  This situation is made increasingly more critical and complex due to the impacts of climate change on water resources. 

“Conservationists and development professionals have historically chosen very different and often opposing approaches to “sustainable” water resource management,” says Bart Wickel, Senior Conservation Hydrologist at World Wildlife Fund.   “Climate change presents an opportunity to discuss sustainable resource management in a more holistic way, bringing together opposing groups and focusing policymakers drawn to concerns over climate change on a coherent view of sustainable development.”

One of the goals of this year’s symposium is to promote collaboration between scientists, policymakers, and economic developers, and benefit sound conservation practice. This symposium will provide a platform for dialogue on gaps in our understanding and immediate needs for research.

Key questions that will be answered include:

•         What are the impacts of climate change on freshwater systems?

•         What are the challenges to freshwater ecosystem conservation and water management in a changing climate?

•         What is the role of climate adaptation in addressing these challenges, and what are limitations of adaptation?

The symposium will be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, located at 10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW in Washington, D.C. 20560. For more information, a list of speakers, agenda and details for registering to attend in person or via webcast:

This symposium is funded through the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund, which honors Kathryn S. Fuller, the president and CEO of WWF from 1989 to 2005. The 2009 Science for Nature Symposium has been made possible with the generous support of HSBC-North America and The Coca-Cola Company.