This guide is intended for those working to assess and manage resources, especially those interested in developing river basin health report cards. It reflects on the indicators that have historically been used for basin report cards and presents new ways to think of indicators, as the interface between nature and people becomes more and more intertwined. It is a supplementary guide to the Practitioner’s Guide to Developing River Basin Report Cards.
Similar to school report cards, river basin report cards provide performance-driven numeric grades or letters that reflect the status of a river basin on a regular basis. They effectively integrate and synthesize large, and often complex, information into simple scores that can be communicated to decision-makers and the general public. The Lower Kafue River Basin Report Card was created through a series of stakeholder workshops with representatives of Zambian government agencies, academic institutions, NGO representatives, community based organizations, and the private sector.
This guide is designed for government or non-profit employees, development officials, river basin managers, private sector representatives, community organizers, academics, journalists, or any others interested in acting to secure the health and future of a freshwater resource. It provides an overview of river basin report cards and their utility, as well as guidance on how to create a report card and leverage the process and results to drive change.
With our partners at University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, WWF is producing, packaging, and sharing a process that can mainstream report card development in basins around the world. By developing report cards in a variety of basins, we can move closer to our goal of securing fresh water for people and nature.
The Colombian Orinoco River Basin Report Card—the first of its kind in South America—came out in July 2016. Through a series of workshops held across the region, approximately 150 stakeholders came together to pinpoint the most important values and threats to their basin, known as indicators. What we learn about the health of each one of these indicators helps determine the overall health of the river basin. The Colombian Orinoco River Basin received a B-, meaning it's in moderately good health, but some action is needed now.
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