Call for submissions of new Ecohydrology Demonstration Sites
The Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) has launched a call for proposals to establish new UNESCO Ecohydrology Demonstration Sites in all countries and regions of the world. The call is part of an effort to disseminate good practices among UNESCO Member States and the general public, while providing opportunities to all countries, organizations and individuals to improve the health of their ecosystem significantly by implementing the ecohydrology approach in their catchments, learn from other demonstration sites and share their best practices with others. In addition, it is expected that the dissemination of this initiative will contribute to the development of research and knowledge sharing on ecohydrology.
There is an urgent need to accelerate the implementation of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through water science and education. In this regard, using ecosystem properties as innovative management tools – nature-based solutions (NBS) – has great potential. The evolution of the ecohydrology paradigm within UNESCO-IHP since its inception in 1996, will be an important reference point for the identification of new challenges and the development of emerging nature-based ecohydrological methods and systemic solutions in the context of the strategy and priorities of UNESCO-IHP Phase IX (2022-2029) "Science for a Water Secure World in a Changing Environment".
Objectives of the call for submission
- Identify knowledge gaps to address ecohydrological issues related to critical water ecosystems, including those in arid and semiarid zones, coastal areas and estuaries, and urbanized areas.
- Showcase how better knowledge of the interrelationships between the hydrological cycle, livelihoods and ecosystems can contribute to more cost-effective and environmental-friendly water management.
- Demonstrate systems solutions and technology transfer opportunities through North-South and South-South linkages to harmonize the ecosystem potential with societal needs.
The ecohydrology concept should operate in demonstration sites at four levels:
- INFORMATION: monitoring, collecting of empirical data, defining interactions and hydrology-biota-society feedbacks.
- KNOWLEDGE: defining patterns and dynamics, describing and explaining processes, understanding water-biota interplay.
- WISDOM: ability to formulate policy, principles for action, problem solving by system solutions, stakeholders involvement, education, implementation.
- COOPERATION FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS: willingness of different stakeholders to effectively contribute actively to the implementation of the ecohydrology approach in the demonstration site – this will ensure cooperation among all sectors and the achievement of the demonstration site goals.
How to apply
Applicants must check the eligibility and minimum criteria to become the UNESCO Ecohydrology Demonstration Site – if eligible they can proceed to the application form and provide the required information accordingly.
Applications must be submitted through the Ecohydrology Web Platform, using the official form.
- June 2022: Global Call for Submission is open
- June - October 2022: Submission of proposals; the deadline for submissions is 31 October 2022.
- November-December 2022: Evaluation of proposals.
- End of December 2022: Announcement of new Ecohydrology Demonstration Sites.
About UNESCO-IHP Ecohydrology Demonstration Sites
UNESCO-IHP has promoted the establishment of various demonstration sites around the world since 2011, to apply ecohydrology solutions in various catchments at all scales, as a transdisciplinary, scientific approach to achieve water quality improvement, for biodiversity enhancement, and sustainable development by understanding and using the relationships between hydrological and biological processes at the scale of water catchment basins.
UNESCO Ecohydrology Demonstration Sites are the catchments where the ecohydrology approach have been implemented in various ways. Each demonstration site aims to apply ecohydrology principles and solutions to solve both social and environmental issues. Ecohydrology can be considered as both solution-oriented projects and methodologies. These solution-oriented projects and methodologies are implemented at the demonstration sites.
Proposed demonstration sites should focus on the enhancement of ecological and sustainability status in the catchment in four dimensions: Water quality and/or quantity, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Resilience (WBSR). Since the core of ecohydrology is the analysis (understanding of processes) and regulation (dual regulation) of water-biota interplay. The proposed demonstration sites should also be able to demonstrate to what extent it considers/expands the existing knowledge and understanding of this interplay, and the methods to achieve this goal.