Arg Cap-Net advances in international project for restoration of freshwater ecosystems

On 10 September, the course “Integrating data to improve the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems” concluded. The course is part of an initiative to support countries in achieving SDG target 6.6.1 as a contribution to the broader SDG agenda. The course programme was coordinated by Arg Cap-Net network with support from the Argentine Water Forum and the National Organisation for Environmental Management of water and Aquatic Ecosystems.

The programme took place over a 6-week period on Cap-Net’s virtual campus. Asynchronous activities from Monday to Thursday and a synchronous meeting on Fridays were part of the course schedule. “The meetings became a space for reflection and cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary debate, and contributed significantly to strengthening the trust relationship between participants and teachers. The extensive participation and territorial distribution of more than 50 students from all provinces of the country have improved the results of the course. Now we are preparing the reports with the conclusions of the synchronous meetings”, said Marcos Cipponeri, president of Arg Cap-Net and coordinator of the working team.

The facilitators group consisted of professors from four master’s courses in water resources and environmental management taught in Argentine national universities which are members of Arg Cap-Net, as well as professors from other national universities and organisations involved in water resources and environmental management. Stuart Crane participated in the closing session of the training. He is the creator of Freshwater Ecosystems Explorer, a free platform provided by the United Nations to assess the evolution of freshwater ecosystems using up-to-date, high-resolution geospatial data that allows users to understand and visualise dynamic changes in permanent and seasonal surface waters, reservoirs, lake water quality, wetlands and mangroves.

“The great interest in this course, which has led to more than 260 registrations from Argentina and other countries in the region, makes us think about the possibility of implementing a replication adapted to regional conditions,” added Cipponeri, after explaining that the activity was specifically designed for Argentine freshwater ecosystems.

The international initiative SDG 6.6.1

This course is part of the activities developed under the pilot project on SDG target 6.6.1, launched in three countries (including Argentina) by the UNEP-DHI together with its partners Global Water Partnership (GWP) and Cap-Net UNDP.

A wealth of freshwater indicators derived from high-resolution satellite observations of the Earth is now available to help countries understand dynamic changes in freshwater. In this context, UNEP intends to assist UN member states to promote the integration of environmental data into relevant decision-making processes through multi-stakeholder participation to improve the protection, management and restoration of freshwater ecosystems.

The continuation of the project, under the coordination of FADA and the support of Arg Cap-Net and the National Directorate of Environmental Management of water and Aquatic Ecosystems, foresees the development of one or two cross-sectoral action plans for the protection and/or restoration of freshwater ecosystems and/or watersheds, based on a pre-selection based on applications from the different jurisdictions. Activities are expected to be completed by June 2022.

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