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Special Issue "Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability in Geographic Science".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020) | Viewed by 57866
Special Issue Editors
Interests: climate adaptation & resilience; durable free-flowing river protections; environmental justice; hydropower; indigenous knowledge; political ecology; sustainability; water governance; Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
Interests: conservation; freshwater biodiversity; inland fisheries; Integrated Water Resource Management; international policy; protected areas; Sustainable Development Goals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Special Issue Information
Freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened part of the biosphere today. The Freshwater Living Planet Index shows increasing population declines of freshwater species, from an average of 76% decline of monitored populations in 2010 (WWF, 2014) to an 83% decline in 2014 (WWF, 2018). These declines are greater than those reported for terrestrial or marine species (WWF, 2016). Only 37% of rivers longer than 1000 kilometers remain free-flowing over their entire length, and only 23% flow uninterrupted to the ocean (Grill et al., 2019). While the causes for the degradation and loss of freshwater ecosystems are well known (Reid et al. 2019), responses to safeguard these systems have tended to be inadequate (Harrison et al. 2018). It is well accepted that there is an urgent need for stronger policies to support protection of freshwaters (Albert et al., 2020; Tickner et al., 2020; UN Water, 2020), especially given the resurgence of grey infrastructure projects such as dams touted as renewable energy sources and climate adaption (Perry and Praskievicz, 2017). Development and implementation of policies that promote riverine connectivity and that ensure effective environmental flows are some of the most important areas for action (Palmer et al., 2009).
This Special Issue highlights examples of permanent protections of free-flowing rivers, through the application of scientific research, law, policy, and on-the-ground implementation of conservation, restoration, and management strategies. We are interested in discussions relating to the protection of riverine ecosystems and the sustainable management of ecosystem services and benefits that these healthy ecosystems provide to support riverine communities. Papers can examine policies such as the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Rights of Rivers, Rights of Nature, conservation easements, and transboundary and transnational cooperative agreements, among others. Papers may include analyses and discussions of new challenges for the protection of free-flowing rivers and the possible solutions to these challenges. We seek submissions that cover a range of spatial scales—from local to global. We expect to include a mix of both meta-analyses of river protection and policy and specific case studies that illustrate how these policies are created, implemented, enforced, and monitored. Papers can cover reviews of previous work, provided the information is synthesized into a set of novel or otherwise important observations and recommendations that can help toward better decision-making and management in the future. Discussions of site- and region-specific projects are welcome, especially if they examine regions that are generally underrepresented in literature on freshwater ecosystems and protection. However, such site- or region-specific publications should include discussion of how lessons learned can be applied to other areas. For example, how can the successes of catchment management in one part of the world be applied to other locations? What project weaknesses or failures can and should be avoided elsewhere? Evidence of conservation success is particularly important. Similarly, we welcome discussion on how existing river protections can guide recommendations for new local, regional, and global policy that can be brought to fora such as the World Wilderness Congress, and international conventions and agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Watercourses Convention, the Ramsar Convention, and the Convention on Migratory Species.
Expected timeframe for production
July 31, 2020
- Submit a draft abstract and title
October 31, 2020
- Deadline for submission of draft manuscripts
Albert, J.S.; Destouni, G.; Duke-Sylvester, S.M.; Magurran, A.E.; Oberdorff, T.; Reis, R.E.; Winemiller, K.O.; Ripple, W.J. Scientists’ warning to humanity on the freshwater biodiversity crisis. Ambio, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01318-8
Grill, G.; Lehner, B.; Thieme, M.; Geenen, B.; Tickner, D.; Antonelli, F.; Babu, S; Borrelli, P.; Cheng, L.; Crochetiere, H.; Ehalt Macedo, H.; Filgueiras, R.; Goichot, M.; Higgins, J.; Hogan, Z.; Lip, B.; McClain, M.E.; Meng, J.; Mulligan, M.; Nilsson, C.; Olden, J.D.; Opperman, J.J.; Petry, P.; Reidy Liermann, C.; Sáenz, L.; Salinas-Rodríguez, S.; Schelle, P.; Schmitt, R.J.P.; Snider, J.; Tan, F.; Tockner, K.; Valdujo, P.H.; van Soesbergen, A.; Zarfl. C. Mapping the world's free‐flowing rivers. Nature, 2019, 569, 215–221. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586‐019‐1111‐9.
Harrison, I.; Abell, R.; Darwall, W.; Thieme, M.L.; Tickner, D.; Timboe, I. The freshwater biodiversity crisis. Science, 2018, 362, 1369. https:// doi.org/10.1126/science.aav9242
Palmer, M. a., Lettenmaier, D. P., Poff, N. L., Postel, S. L., Richter, B., & Warner, R. (2009). Climate change and river ecosystems: Protection and adaptation options. Environmental Management, 44(6), 1053–1068. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-009-9329-1
Perry, D.M. and Praskievicz, S.J. (2017). "A new era of big infrastructure? [Re-]developing water storage in the U.S. West in the context of climate change and environmental regulation." Water Alternatives, 10(2): 134-151. http://www.water-alternatives.org/index.php/alldoc/articles/vol10/v10issue2/363-a10-2-13/file
Reid, A.J.; Carlson, A.K.; Creed, I.F.; Eliason, E.J.; Gell, P.A.; Johnson, P.T.; Kidd, K.A.; MacCormack, T.J.; Olden, J.D.; Ormerod, S.J.; Smol, J.P.; Taylor, W.W.; Tockner, K.; Vermaire, J.C.;, Dudgeon, D.; Cooke, S.J. Emerging threats and persistent conservation challenges for freshwater biodiversity. Biological Reviews, 2019, 94, 849–873. https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12480
Tickner, D.; Opperman, J.; Abell, R.; Acreman, M.; Arthington, A.; Bunn, S.; Cooke, S.; Dalton, J.; Darwall, W.; Edwards, G.; Harrison, I.; Hughes, K.; Jones, T.; Leclère, D.; Lynch, A.; Leonard, P.; McClain, M.; Muruven, D.; Olden, J.; Ormerod, S.; Tharme, R.; Thieme, M.; Tockner, K.; Wright, M.; Young, L. Bending the Curve of Global Freshwater Biodiversity Loss – An Emergency Recovery Plan. BioScience 2020, 70, 330–342.
UN Water 2020. UN-Water input on Freshwater-Biodiversity Linkages: Response to the Zero-Draft Document from the Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. https://www.unwater.org/publications/un-water-input-on-freshwater-biodiversity-linkages-response-to-the-zero-draft-document-from-the-open-ended-working-group-on-the-post-2020-global-biodiversity-framework/
WWF. 2014. Living Planet Report 2014: species and spaces, people and places. McLellan R., Iyengar L., Jeffries B. and Oerlemans N. (eds)]. WWF, Gland, Switzerland
WWF. 2016. Living Planet Report 2016. Risk and resilience in a new era. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland
WWF. 2018. In M. Grooten, & R. E. A. Almond (Eds.), Living planet report – 2018: Aiming higher. Gland: WWF.
Dr. Denielle M. Perry
Dr. Ian Harrison
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- Environmental flows
- Fresh water