- Freshwater Ecosystems
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IW:Science (GEF Project)-
IW:Science Reports - EADN - - - -
- Coastal Ecosystems
- Dryland Ecosystems
- Water-Health Nexus
- Knowledge Management and Mobilization
- Training and Capacity Building
Enhancing the Use of Science in International Waters Projects to Improve Project Results
The IW:Science Synthesis Report 'Science-policy Bridges Over Troubled Waters - Making Science Deliver Greater Impacts in Shared Water Systems' has been launched at the GEF IW Science Conference on 24th September 2012 and available online here.
The IW:Science Synopsis and Analysis Reports leading up to final Synthesis product can also be found here.
Through the dedication of project partners and volunteer scientists the IW:Science Project aims to enhance - through knowledge integration and information sharing - the use of science in the International Waters (IW) projects of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project will help strengthen priority setting, knowledge sharing, and results-based, adaptive management in current and future projects. Due for completion in December 2012, the IW:Science project has seen:
As one of the learning initiatives within the International Waters focal area the IW:Science project was designed to conduct a review, analysis and synthesis of the science behind 20 years of IW projects. This was undertaken using an approach akin to the writing of the IPCC Assessment Reports of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Five groups of scientists, comprising experts both within and external to the IW projects, were assembled according to their areas of expertise in the five GEF IW system types; River Basins, Lakes, Groundwater, Coastal Zone/Land-based Pollution Sources, and Large Marine Ecosystems and the Open Ocean. Both natural and social science expertise was considered when looking at the IW impact in the sustainable management of global transboundary water systems worldwide.
Synopsis - The five groups each reviewed the relevant segment of 20 years of IW projects to produce an IW system type Synopsis Report. These five Reports bring together the scientific underpinnings for the IW projects according to the group area of expertise; rivers, lakes, groundwater, coastal zone / land-based pollution sources, and large marine ecosystems / the open ocean.
Analysis - Each group then used a common set of questions to conduct an analysis of the IW portfolio with regards to critical emerging science issues, the application of science for adaptive management and the development and use of indicators to support IW projects. A key component of this process was not only learning from the science and design within IW projects but also to bring in science understandings and good practices from the wider scientific community. This resulted in an additional five IW system type reports, termed Analysis Reports, from each group that built on the Synopsis findings and aim to provide assistance to GEF IW project design and implementation into the future.
Synthesis - The final stage is the preparation of the Synthesis Reports. The core questions used in the Analysis process were designed to allow a synthesis of the findings from each IW system type group. The final reports are written in accordance with the analysis question themes; critical emerging science issues, the application of science for adaptive management and the development and use of indicators to support IW projects This aims to provide GEF with a portfolio-wide insight of the science behind 20 years of IW projects as well as what the scientific groups consider important lessons learned, current challenges and what they foresee for the future.
KIM-UNU - Supporting the review, synopsis and analysis process was the creation of the IW:Science knowledge management system (KMS). This saw the compilation of approximately 5,500 IW project documents and outputs into a relational database and made both entirely text searchable and retrievable by 70 fields of metadata categories. Integrated with the database were learning network and communication tools and an integrated electronic template to capture the efforts and insights of the working groups reviews. The KMS was built using the KIM-UNU software platform (Knowledge Integration and Management – United Nations University) which is also being implemented for managing information with the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, parts of the GEF Land Degradation focal area, the UN-Water Activity Information System on transboundary waters, Central and Western Africa river basins as well as some interest for land management approaches in the Western Asia, Northern Africa region and water data in the Arab region.
The IW:Science database has also been reapplied by the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to provide an understanding of what overlap exists between GEF Large Marine Ecosystem interventions and global hypoxia concerns. The final report provided the ability to undertake an investigation on hypoxia and nutrients in the coastal zone to asses GEF interventions in Large Marine Ecosystems in the wider, global, hypoxia context.
This GEF funded project implemented by UNEP and executed by UNU-INWEH is due for completion at the end of 2011. This project has been realized through the commitment of a global project team, representative of the complexity and interconnectedness of systems and knowledge within the IW portfolio. Listed below, these project partners comprise a highly specialized and interdisciplinary team, each bringing thematic institutional expertise relevant to an ecosystem class within the IW portfolio; river basins, lake systems, groundwater aquifers, large marine ecosystems and the open ocean:
Countries represented in IW:Science Working Group Membership
Meeting of all five Working Groups at Project Inception Workshop
IW:Science project "Enhancing the Use of Science in International Waters Projects
to Improve Project Results"
25-28 January, 2010 (Macao)