Healthy Rivers – healthy economies

Report back from the 18th International RiverSymposium: Healthy Rivers – healthy economies

Jess Schoeman, ILWS PhD Candidate

Jess Schoeman, ILWS PhD Candidate

Author : Jess Schoeman

Charles Vorosmarty succinctly expressed the essence of river management during his keynote address: “connectivity is the name of the game”. This year, the RiverSymposium sought to explore the connection between healthy rivers and healthy economies as an overarching theme.

The central role of rivers in the rise of human civilisations is deeply etched in our history books, yet we’ve generally followed a pattern of ‘wreck and repair’ in river management. Economic development has occurred at the expense of the environment, and restoring degraded rivers has been costly and difficult.

Many speakers at the Conference highlighted how ecosystem functions and services provided by rivers are often taken for granted and unvalued or undervalued in our economic systems. Only when environmental degradation reaches a crisis point, are we forced to invest in river restoration. Read more of this post

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