Cap-Net UNDP / Agua de Quito / Quito Water Protection Fund / CAF - Development Bank of Latin America / Inter-American Development Bank

Research initiatives on the High Andes ecosystems and water interactions

Tuesday 28 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: NL 353
Homero Castanier

Given the level of institutional maturity of the Water and Sanitation Public Company of the City of Quito-EPMAPS with its vision to be a company leader on sustainable and innovative management of public services in the region, is pertinent the applied research in collaboration with the academy on processes of the several phases of its projects and services cycle.

In order to optimize the protection and restoration activities of ecosystems of its water sources, and to evidence their impact, it is necessary the support of adequate studies and indicators. The Water and Páramo Scientific Station-ECAP seeks to respond to this need, inviting researchers to carry out studies and to experiment on the EPMAPS and FONAG’s páramo land properties and installations to better understand their functioning. This initiative represents a contribution to the sustainable management of water provision services of these ecosystems and their vital function of hydrologic regulation, strengthening research on their conservation and restoration based on evidences, and bridging the science–policy gap.

The panel will be open, “Fishbowl” type, with the purpose to allow a wide participation of the attendees and the delegates from the co-convenors, to whom general information on the ECAP will be previously sent.

Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.

Programme

World Water Week 2018
Session (Showcase) "Research initiatives on the High Andes ecosystems and water interactions" (ID: 7860)
28 Aug 2018, 11:00-12:30
Room NL 353

Schedule

11:00 Open session

11:00 Context setting
Homero Castanier, Coordinator of the Scientific Station, EPMAPS

11:05: Opening remarks
Pablo Lloret, Chief of the Environmental Division, EPMAPS

11:10 Justification, objectives and institutional structure of the Water and Páramo Scientific Station
Bert De Bievre, Technical Secretary, FONAG

11:20 Advances and the scientific and research program of the Water and Páramo Scientific Station
Homero Castanier, Coordinator of the Scientific Station, EPMAPS

11:25 Panel discussion on the applicability of expected results
-    Contribution to the sustainable management of services of water provision from the páramo ecosystems and to integrated water management
-    Contribution to closing the science and policy gaps
-    Incorporation of knowledge generated in situ on the formulation of policies and leadership processes.

Raul Muñoz, Specialist Water Sector, IADB
Bert De Bievre, Technical Secretary, FONAG
Damian Indij, Virtual Campus Coordinator LA-WETnet, Cap-Net – UNDP
Victor Arroyo, Coordinator Water Knowledge Management, CAF
Pablo Lloret, Chief of the Environmental Department, EPMAPS

11: 45 Round table workshop on similar experiences or innovation
-    On similar ecosystems
-    On different ecosystems of water sources
-    Other types of coordination and institutional structures.
-    Long term research key questions.

12:05 Panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges for achieving the expected results
-    Complexity of ecological and hydrological processes
-    Scientific research requires continuity
-    Limited availability of experts
-    FONAG and EPMAPS look after managing their land properties based on scientific evidences of the benefits of their actions.

12:20 Closing remarks on how this initiative supports the sustainability of water sources
Representative EPMAPS

12:25 Wrap up and recommendations
Homero Castanier, Coordinator of the Scientific Station, EPMAPS

12:30 Close of session




Conclusion

Conclusions

Water policies are effective when driven by science and technology providing accurate data and facts, end-users and providers of innovative technologies should closely work together to exploit opportunities for more cost-effective water monitoring and managing capacities. In a context framed by climate change strongly affecting water resources beyond political boundaries, international cooperation and capacity building are key factors to address the water and climate relationship and sharing knowledge.

There are several unsolved questions that research should help to understand, as the meaning of historical records under changing climate conditions or the effect of the time horizon for climate change in project design and operation. Considering data limitations there is a need to develop a better understanding of how scientific knowledge in hydrology, ecosystems and water resources can help to inform policy and operational dialogue, and support project decisions to cope with rising challenges. 

There are enabling factors in the use of research and information with results in policies and projects, as knowledge co-production, that is engaging a broad range of actors with divergent interests and agendas, the level of knowledge and expertise of managers and decision makers on ecosystem services as well as technological resources and tools, such as databases, and the development of clear links between research and improvements, with local practitioners keen to adopt the concept of ecosystem services and work with the researchers to find management options. 

Nature-based solutions are important and they should be science and evidence based. Monitoring comes first, and the need of more ground-truth on the impact of natural infrastructure. In hydrological terms new generation of studies on “Return on Investment” in green infrastructure are adequate instruments. The Water and Paramo Scientific Station (EPMAPS – FONAG) offers conditions for long term climate research. 

Recommendations 

For nature-based solutions is fundamental building data and information based in tools as hydrological models and remote sensing, piloting projects and experiences, financing and enabling mechanisms and incentives. Policy makers should take active role in connecting different actors and promoting their commitment and the ecosystem services approach.

Data limitations can be overcome by means of the application of instruments as remote sensing and satellite-based data that might be used successfully for that purpose. Methodologies for planning and design water infrastructure and ecosystem protection under data limitations must be integrated into utilities strategies and plans. 

Initiatives / Tools / Networks 

Networks will be enhanced to strengthen capacity development, establishing thematic working groups to promote connections between water scientists and water practitioners to develop a better understanding of how scientific knowledge in hydrology, ecology and water resources can improve dialogue and support project decisions. 

A training program on climate change and ecosystem protection would be carried out aimed at university students with interest in research on water and paramo, and procedures will be designed to monitor research works and follow up the application of their results and its impacts.