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The IUKWC hosted a webinar series between May - September 2020 to share the excellent work that is being done by Indian and UK scientists in the area of water security. Fifth in series, this webinar was attended by 85 people representing 28 institutions across India and the UK. The webinar received an overwhelmingly positive response; in their feedback, more than 50% of the audience highlighted that they gained new knowledge through the webinar and the webinar was successful in generating an increased interest in the field of ecosystem services modelling.
The essence of the Ecosystems Services (ES) concept is the contribution of biotic nature to human well-being. ES include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual and recreational benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling and habitat, which maintain the conditions for life on Earth. The ES approach offers a systematic way of analysing the potential environmental impacts of management actions using the environment-economy connection. This connection shows the causal links from a change in biophysical state as a result of altered management, to the ecosystem change and then the change to economic values and human well-being. Research on this nature-society relationship proves critical in developing countries where people are strongly dependent on the flow of ES. However, the concept is often un-recognized and under-valued, especially in these countries. In the Indian subcontinent, with high risk of water insecurity and ecological destruction, little work has been done to quantify and value ES in order to support natural resources management.
This webinar will discuss the existing tools to understand the role played by major change drivers on ES in Himalayan catchments as a basis to generate sound information for decision making, e.g. to inform ongoing watershed development projects. The aim is to contribute to addressing the gap in the implementation of the ES approach and the development and application of the required models and tools in India.
The webinar will be relevant to Scientists, In-service Engineers and Researchers from industry, municipalities, non-government organizations, government and research institutes, students at all levels (MSc/MTech/PhD), Faculty members and other research scholars with interest in sustainable catchment and water resources management.
Dr Sumit Sen's research area focuses on watershed management, monitoring and modelling, as well as rainfall-runoff modelling. He has been developing experimental hydrometry sites in the Lesser Himalayas to better understand the hydrologic services supported by various mountain watershed under different land use/ land cover systems. Dr Sen has vast experience in instrumentation and high frequency hydrologic data collection.
Dr Andrea Momblanch's main expertise is on water resource management, river water quality, and aquatic habitat modelling and their integration for Ecosystem Services assessment. She has lead the modelling work in NERC funded projects related to the impact of climate change on water resources and Ecosystem Services in the Himalayas (SusHi-Wat) and the Andes (Peru GROWS). Dr Momblanch has consolidated experience in the field of Ecosystem Services modelling, demonstrated by publications in high impact-factor journals.