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“Freshwater: the essence of life” wins award and inspires travelling exhibition

May 10, 2011

Photo: © Magnus Lundgren / © George Steinmetz. A beautiful freshwater plant species: European white water lily (Nymphaea alba), in a lake in Bohuslän, Sweden. Traditionally used for medicinal purposes. Many of other species are still unknown to science, with medical and scientific value. Image courtesy of Conservation International

This weeks post is by Dr Ian Harrison, Freshwater Species Assessment and Program Fundraising Manager at Conservation International, letting us know about the success of their recent book ‘Freshwater: the essence of life’. 

For more reading, here’s a great article by Ian on the hair-raising experiences of a freshwater biologist working in conflict areas…who said the life of a scientist is dull?!


Estelle Balian mentioned on this blog (March 1, 2011) a book entitled Freshwater: the essence of life, published by Conservation International in conjunction with the International League of Conservation Photographers, and CEMEX. Estelle is one of several BioFresh partners who co-authored chapters in the book, which carries the message that freshwater ecosystems are the ultimate biodiversity hotspot.

As a co-editor of the book, I am pleased to tell you that it has won a 2011 SILVER Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY award) in the category of Environment, Ecology and Nature.

More information on the award here (scroll down to no. 40).

Sunset at Iguaçu Falls National Park—an amazing system of waterfalls that spans the border between Argentina and Brazil and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The surrounding forest is home to more than 2,000 species of plants and other wildlife. © Frans Lanting. All images courtesy of Conservation International

In the book, 44 authors from 28 academic and research institutions, and non-governmental and governmental organizations describe the diversity of freshwater ecosystems around the world, in terms of the species present and the physical diversity of these systems. The authors review the numerous and varied threats that impact these systems, and the conservation actions that are being implemented to sustainably manage them and the essential services they provide to human communities. The book discusses the importance of developing appropriate policy and governance to manage water flows and maintain resilient freshwater ecosystems.

The book is beautifully illustrated with dozens of photographs from the World’s top nature photographers.

Some additional news is that a travelling exhibit of many of these photographs has been developed to accompany the book. For more details see the web site of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

There is also a video on freshwater, which uses images from the book, available here.

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to the book.

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