IHE Delft / International Union for Conservation of Nature / World Wide Fund for Nature / Conservation International / Alliance for Global Water Adaptation / Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries / National Great Rivers Research and Education Center

A new global initiative: The Alliance for Freshwater Life

Sunday 26 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: FH Cabaret
Impact Media Lab

The Alliance for Freshwater Life is an ambitious global collaboration to halt losses of freshwater biodiversity, and stimulate research, conservation and policy dialogue for the sustainable use of freshwater ecosystems. The Sustainable Development Goals and numerous international laws and policy statements propose to reverse the rapid and unprecedented decline in freshwater ecosystems and species globally. Nonetheless, the importance of freshwater life is still often ignored when meeting human demands for water, and the familiar retort from advocates for freshwater life that “business as usual is not an option” has grown tired. With the support of scientists, civil society, industry and the political establishment, this showcase will launch the Alliance, bringing together expertise from some of the world’s top institutions specialized in research, conservation, environmental education, outreach, and policy for sustaining freshwater biodiversity. The showcase will celebrate what is possible through story-telling, and inspirational film, photography and interactive imaging. Using examples of successes and key lessons learnt, we will engage the audience in an interactive session to inspire and mobilize a collaboration among diverse stakeholders. The session will be effectively moderated and recorded, and with a focus to keep the conversation going well after the showcase is over

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


A new global initiative: The Alliance for Freshwater Life

9:00 - 9:05 Opening

 Jessica J. Lee, Author and Writer-in-Residence, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), images from Michel Roggo, Paul Stewart, and Sally Warring

Immersing the audience in the wonders of freshwater ecosystems across the world, introducing the question of how we can change perspectives and raise the profile of freshwater biodiversity. 

9:05 - 9:15 The Need for an Alliance for Freshwater Life

Will Darwall, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Ian Harrison, Conservation International (IUCN-SSC/WCPA)

The origins of the Alliance, the pressing issues in freshwater biodiversity, and introduction to the five core areas of engagement  

9:15 - 9:20 The Challenges

Martha Rojas-Urrego, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention

9:20 - 9:25 Formal Launch

Formal launch of the Alliance for Freshwater Life. Our global map of members.

9:25 - 9:40 Core Thematic Areas – Previous Successes and Proposed Activities:

Research - Michael T. Monaghan, IGB; Tony Dell, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC)  

Data - Ingrid Timboe, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA). 

Conservation - Michele Thieme, World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF); Will Darwall, IUCN 

Outreach - Ken Irvine, IHE Delft; Jessica J. Lee, IGB 

Policy - Vanesa Rodríguez Osuna, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center and Sequa gGmbH 

9:35–10:05 Discussion/World Café  

Discussion groups for each of the Core Areas, with audience feedback on the paths for building the AFL for each thematic area.

10:05–10:30 Summary and Closing Remarks 

Reports from each core area, key points raised, and final discussion