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Posted 7/1/2016

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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   – June 28, 2016.  USACE IWR and ICIWaRM Director Bob Pietrowsky and Professor Maciej Zalewski, Director, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE), Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaboration on mutual interests in sustainable water resources development and management.  Dr. Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros, Director, UNESCO Division of Water Sciences and Secretary, International Hydrological Programme (IHP), and Dr. Giuseppe Arduino, Chief, Ecohydrology, Water Quality & Water Education Section, IHP Secretariat presided over the event, which took place on 17 May 2016 during the inaugural UNESCO Science Center Meeting in Beijing, China.

The agreement recognizes the mutual interests of ERCE and IWR-ICIWaRM in leveraging joint efforts to further cooperation and partnership in the related fields of ecological and hydrological sciences – i.e., ecohydrology, as applied to identifying best practices, building capacity through education, training and project demonstrations, and promoting state-of-the-practice solutions via integrated water resources management for developing countries and countries in transition.

The following thematic scientific areas of mutual interest have been identified in pursuing cooperative opportunities:

  1. Advancement of ecohydrologic science as applied to aquatic ecosystem restoration within a framework of integrated water resources and river basin management;

  2. The assessment of ecosystem services and green infrastructure as a means for informing resource tradeoff interactions among land, water and people, and thus, better decision-making;

  3. The use of peer-reviewed publications to jointly document the intersection of the ecohydrologic and hydrobiologic sciences with policy development and water management decision-making;

  4. Promotion of networking and facilitation of trans-disciplinary exchanges among UNESCO Category I and II centers, along with other partnering institutions, in accord with the Beijing Action Plan for UNESCO Science and Water centers, and as approved by the 35th session of the General Conference (document 35C/22);

  5. Consideration of the effects of climate change and variability on ecohydrology and water resources management decision-making;

  6. Collaborative multi-disciplinary applications and demonstrations in ecohydrology and IWRM planning for aquatic ecosystem restoration and water resources management;

  7. Cooperative development of knowledge sharing platforms to facilitate access to scientific advancements and lessons learned in ecohydrologic applications;

  8. Staff exchanges, joint training and workshops on ecohydrology and water management topics;

  9. Education, capacity building and technology transfer, including through ICIWaRM’s core University partners and ERCE’s status as an International Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences;

  10. Facilitation of UNESCO IHP’s mid-term strategy outcomes as related to ecohydrology and IWRM;

  11. The advancement of Theme 5 on Ecohydrology of the UNESCO IHP Phase VIII Strategic Plan; and,

  12. Cooperation in furthering the activities of UNESCO IHP’s Ecohydrology Steering Committee. 

More about ICIWaRM

ICIWaRM is a UNESCO Category 2 water center headquartered at the USACE Institute for Water Resources in Alexandria, VA. ICIWaRM is a consortium of U.S. Government agencies, university departments and non-governmental organizations committed to working together in support of the strategic program objectives of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP). The overall mission of ICIWaRM is the advancement of the science and practice of integrated water resources management (IWRM) to address water security and other water-related challenges by regional and global action. ICIWaRM’s current focus is on collaborative planning, environmental and socio-economic impact assessment, risk analysis, water resources systems management, adaptation to climate change, and hydrologic engineering and ecohydrologic science; including an emphasis on policy development, applied state-of-the-practice solutions, education, training, and capacity development; and improving the practice of water resources planning and management in collaboration with other practitioners and scientific/academic institutions, and professional organizations.  

More about the European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE)

ERCE’s status as a unique center functioning at the interface between science, policy and landscape management emphasizes a trans-disciplinary approach to focus on a wide range of research, education, publications and practical applications to advance the science of ecohydrology and demonstrate best practices as applied to the restoration of aquatic ecosystems by: providing advisory activities; promoting advanced scientific research on ecohydrology, monitoring and modeling systems; and promoting social awareness-raising within the scope of ecohydrology applications for integrated management of water resources. As such, ERCE serves on the forefront of the testing and implementation of ecohydrological measures at both the regional / basin scale, and at the sub‐catchment level, with a number of demonstration projects having been put in place and lessons learned injected into regional and city policy making, such as the advancement of the concept of a Blue – Green network which is presently considered for implementation within the City of Lodz.  

Learn More

For more information, Memorandum of Understanding

ICIWaRM:  http://iciwarm.sites.usa.gov

European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE):  http://erce.unesco.lodz.pl/

UNESCO IHP:  http://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security/hydrology

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