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Going Through The Motions: Freshwater Biodiversity at the IUCN World Congress

September 4, 2012

The upcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress offers several promising opportunities for freshwater biodiversity. This post provides a guide to freshwater conservation issues at the IUCN Congress. 

176 motions have been submitted to the congress to be discussed and decided upon in Jeju, South Korea next week. Below is a list and summary of the 11 motions that are directly relevant for freshwater biodiversity.

Motion 20: Further steps to combat amphibian crisis 

This motion calls for increased priority be given to preventing the amphibian extinction crisis, an issue discussed previously on this blog. Among the requests is the development, support and maintenance of adequate captive breeding programs for species vulnerable to extinction in the wild, further research into Bd and an update of the status of amphibians for the IUCN Red List.

Motion 28: Reversing the turtle survival crisis

Rapid declines of turtle populations worldwide have been occurring for many decades. This motion calls for the expansion of protected areas to ensure protection against targeted exploitation, habitat loss and invasive species and recommends ensuring measures concerning CITES and the trade in turtle parts and derivatives are adequate and properly enforced.

Motion 29: International cooperation for waterbird monitoring to support sound management

The motion proposes a global platform to strengthen the development and implementation of appropriate regional flyway schemes, with a particular focus on Asia. In addition it calls for the enhancement and support of international and regional monitoring schemes to produce reliable and up-to-date data on the status of  waterbird populations.

Motion 35: Actions to avert the extinctions of rare dolphins

In the wake of the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin this motion calls for urgent action to avoid further extinctions of endangered South Asian river dolphins, as well as Maui’s dolphin, Hector’s dolphin and the Vaquita porpoise.

Motion 43: Biodiversity, protected areas and Key Biodiversity Areas

This motion calls the for development of a data system for data collection and publication linking biodiversity and protected areas in recognition that habitat loss continues to be the primary driver of biodiversity loss. It aims to collaborate with and strengthen complimentary initiatives, such the BioFresh Project!

Motion 84: Preservation of Oasis ecosystems

This motion aims to raise awareness of the numerous threats facing unique oasis ecosystems and of the importance of oasis ecosystems for biodiversity, economic and cultural purposes. It calls for international and national level plans to strengthen resilience of these ecosystems and the people that live there in the face of climate change and changing agricultural practices.

Motion 87: The importance of assessing the water needs of wetlands in order to preserve their ecological functions

Wetlands function as regulators of hydrological regimes and as habitats for characteristic flora and fauna and provide a wide range of ecosystem services for humans. This motion aims to improve the assessment and management of water resources to preserve wetlands of ecological importance.

Motion 88: Establishing a regional organisation for managing aquatic ecosystems of East Asia

This motion recommends the establishment of an international network for monitoring and managing freshwater and marine ecosystems in East Asia to conserve biodiversity, maintain sustainability, and build resilience under the threats of climate change, overfishing, anthropogenic intervention and environmental accidents.

Motion 90: Río de la Plata Basin wetlands regional initiative

The Rio de la Plata Basin is the 4th largest drainage basin in the world and contains some of the world’s most densely populated mega-cities. This motions calls upon States to maintain the integrity of the wetland ecosystems in the Río de la Plata Basin, strengthen the capacities of civil society, contribute to food and water safety and to promote the sustainable economic development of the region.

Motion 94: Integrated Water Resource Management in the Bahía Blanca estuary in Argentina

Concerned that the mega-project in Puerto Cuatreros, in the Bahía Blanca estuary, will have negative environmental and socio-economic impacts on the area the motion calls on the Argentinian government to adopt measures for the protection and conservation of water-producing ecosystems in the area, list the estuary on the Ramsar wetlands list, and conduct a thorough environmental impact assessment of the mega-project.

Motion 95: Supporting IUCN in the sustainable development of wetlands and marine areas in Central and West Africa

This motion asks the IUCN to promote relevant tools in order to ensure the protection and conservation of wetlands and marine areas in Central and West Africa and provide greater support for countries in this region. In addition it urges inter-governmental co-operation to establish consensus on the conservation and management regimes for these ecosystems.

For a full list of all motions submitted to the IUCN World Congress, click here.

For an overview of the congress and a discussion about the opportunities for freshwater biodiversity conservation see here.

We will be publishing several more posts about freshwater at the IUCN congress over the coming days, so keep an eye out.

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