• Mon 17 Oct 2016
  • Resilience within Water Systems: The Quest for Strategies and Innovations in the Anthropocene

    Side Events
    Venue: R12
    Lead Organization:
    • The University Of Tokyo Institutes For Advanced Study (UTIAS) Integrated Research System For Sustainability Science (IR3S).
    Partner Organizations:
    • United Nations University Institute For The Advanced Study Of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) Future Earth,
    • Stockholm Resilience Centre,
    • University Of Stockholm.

    Due to the recent rapid urbanization combined with a high rate of economic development, cities are experiencing degradation and depletion of natural resources, including water and related ecosystem services. Moreover, extreme weather events due to climate change are leading to increased incidents of flooding, water shortages, heat stress and disease outbreaks. Consequently, ecosystems within and around cities are reaching the limit of their capacity to withstand the anthropogenic changes in the biophysical processes of the Earth. This suggests an urgent need for cities to adopt innovative and creative approaches to sustainable development and resilience building. This is especially true in relation to the water related challenges that urban areas face in the Anthropocene: challenges which point to a clear need to develop new strategies and innovations to curb degradation of the water environment and to build resilient water systems. A number of cities are investing in measures designed to strengthen water resilience and reduce the degradation of water environments. However, without an understanding of the medium to long-term risks and impacts of these measures, short-term resilience measures could have unintended consequences. Moreover, while policy debates on resilience often focus on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, they often lack a specific reference to water issues in the urban environment. This side event represents an opportunity to exchange views and experience on issues pertaining to water resiliency in urban environments. The side event will explore science-based concepts and approaches related to strengthening resilience in the context of the urban water environment with the aim of generating specific proposals or ideas leading to action oriented results. The discussion will consist of panel presentations by leading scientists to be followed by an interactive dialogue among all event participants.