07.10.2015 - UNESCO Venice Office

Wetlands in Agricultural Landscapes: Present State and Perspectives in Europe

Michal Manas - Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area

The Conference, set to take place in České Budějovice, Czech Republic, on 11-16 October 2015, will allow for an exchange of scientific knowledge and practical experience on wetlands in Europe. The event is convened by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, the Crop Research Institute in Prague, and the University of South Bohemia, with the support of the Norwegian Environment Agency and Ramsar Secretariat.

The Conference will deal with topics that are the focus of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), gives its support to activities in a variety of biosphere reserves whose territories include vast wetlands areas.

The event is designed as a forum for the exchange of scientific knowledge and practical experience regarding wetlands, their state and role in agricultural landscapes in Europe. Scientists, managers, agricultural policy makers and executive officials involved in the conservation, restoration and management of wetlands occurring in areas with predominantly intensive agriculture are expected to participate and present their experience and prospects for the integration of wetlands into agricultural landscapes.

The conference will address the following topics: Biodiversity: The importance of wetlands for biodiversity in intensely agriculturally-managed landscapes; Paludiculture: Sustainable agricultural management of wetlands and rewetted peatlands; Agricultural pollution: Effects of fertilizers and pesticides on wetlands. Wetlands designed for treating agricultural pollution from both point and non-point sources; Water and climate: Role of wetlands in the stabilization of the water regime and mitigation of undesirable effects of climate change in agricultural regions; Conservation, restoration and creation of wetlands situated in predominantly agriculturally-managed regions; Legislation and policy: The present position of wetlands in the legislation and agricultural policies of the European Union and individual European countries (also including non-EU ones; Stakeholders’ views of wetlands: are there win-win solutions?)

The Conference will take place in South Bohemia of the Czech Republic, a region rich in various types of wetlands. A selection of full-day field trips to nearby nature reserves or historically significant sites will take place on 14 October - including excursions to: Fishponds of Třeboň; Třeboň Basin Biosphere Reserve and Třeboň Fishponds Ramsar Site; Třeboň Peatlands Ramsar Site; Stropnice River and UnterWasserReich Schrems; Vrbenské rybníky (Fishponds of Vrbné); Hluboká chateau and surroundings; and, Český Krumlov castle and town, Holašovice village.

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