Water Expertise Showcased at the Green Week 2012
With the slogan, "Every Drop Counts," the 12th edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environmental policy, took place from the 22 to the 25 May in Brussels, Belgium. With the focus this year being on water, Ecologic Institute disseminated information, best practices, and lessons learned from a number of high-profile projects carried out on behalf of the DG Environment and DG Research & Innovation of the European Commission, the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and other sponsors.
Approximately 52 exhibitors showcased their projects and competencies in over 40 sessions and workshops. Stakeholders, innovators in green business solutions, NGOs, local and regional authorities, and European bodies participated in this exhibition, which was open during the four days of the Green Week conference.
Since 2006 Ecologic Institute, as part of a pan-European consortium, has been supporting the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The consortium gave independent and impartial advice on scientific, socio-economic, and technical issues related to the WFD and contributed to the development of a common EU-wide approach to implement the WFD. Specific issues were addressed by Ecologic Institute, including linkages between the WFD and agriculture, heavily modified water bodies, hydromorphological measures, socio-economic aspects, and many more.
At the stand, Ecologic Institute provided an overview of its profile and scope of work in a variety of formats, including information and visual posters, brochures on the Institute and its work, as well as a corporate video. On a rotational basis, the stand also showcased a number of key projects which have been or are currently being implemented. Scientific staff discussed featured water projects (see below for more detail on the projects) through a vast array of informational material such as flyers and videos. Conference attendees including other exhibitors, current project partners, media representatives and the general public visited the stand and accessed information on a variety of environmental issues pursued by Ecologic.
The BioFresh project (Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Status, Trends, Pressures and Conservation Priorities) builds a public biodiversity information platform to synthesize a vast amount of information on freshwater biodiversity that exists but remains scattered among a wide range of databases. This portal will allow scientists and planners to evaluate and examine how freshwater biodiversity responds to environmental pressures for more effective conservation planning.
WaterDiss2.0 (Dissemination and uptake of FP water research results) aims to speed up the transfer of research outputs relevant to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) to water management institutions with a targeted time lag of only 3 to 5 years. The dissemination and uptake of the results of past research projects will be analysed and strategies for improving the uptake will be developed.
Through the EPI-Water project (Expediting the Transfer of European Water Research), DG Research & Innovation aims to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of Economic Policy Instruments to achieve water policy goals and identify the preconditions under which they complement or perform better than alternative (e.g., regulatory or voluntary) policy instruments.
The evaluation of water related vulnerability to climate change impacts and the identification of adequate adaptation measures were the focus of the CLIMWATADAPT project (Climate Adaptation – modelling water scenarios and sectoral impacts). In the framework of this project, Ecologic Institute put together the inventory of adaptation measures and preparing and conducting expert and stakeholder meetings. www.climwatadapt.eu
The PHARMAS project (Ecological and human health risk assessments of antibiotic and anticancer drugs found in the environment) investigates the presence of pharmaceuticals in water and the effects for wildlife and human health. A consortium of world-class scientists from both academia and industry were assembled to assess the risks posed by environmental exposure to a number of antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs released into the environment. Their findings will be presented.
The relationships between hydro-climatic hazards, human security and water conflict are the focus of the CLICO research project (Climate change, hydro-conflicts and human security), funded through the 7th Research Framework Programme of the EU (FP7). Climate change poses several threats to human security, for example, by making agriculture more difficult in many parts of the world and thus undermining food security. Moreover, concerns have been voiced that climate change may lead to more conflicts at different levels in the future, as natural resources such as water become scarcer as a result of climate change, and extreme weather events such as floods become more frequent. As part of CLICO, Ecologic Institute develops recommendations for improving current policy frameworks, in order to enhance human security and prevent conflicts in the light of climate change. www.clico.org
An individual stand was dedicated to the RADOST project (Regional adaptation Strategies for the German Baltic Sea Coast), whose objective is the development of adaptation strategies for the Baltic coastline of Germany conducted through a dialogue between academics, economists, policy-makers, and the public. Key goals are to minimize the economic, social, and environmental harm and to capitalize on development opportunities brought about by climate change.
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