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A Need for an Integrated Decision Support System for Watershed Management in Developing Countries: Case Studies from Conservation International

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3 Author(s)
Farrell, T.A. ; Conservation Int., Arlington, VA, USA ; Saenz, L. ; Honzak, M.

Conservation International (CI) has unveiled a multi-decade plan to enhance freshwater ecosystem function for at least 20 percent of the world's areas with the highest concentrations of freshwater services and biodiversity. CI's priority geographies include Cambodia/lower Mekong, Brazil and South Africa. These locations represent a diversity of ecosystems, water management challenges, and governance/institutional capacity differences. Our strategy includes science to understand functioning of freshwater ecosystems, provision and delivery of freshwater services supporting biodiversity and human needs, and developing decision support systems to guide sound and effective decision making related to watershed management. It also includes developing the appropriate policies, governance and financing mechanisms to facilitate watershed management. CI's Brazil, South Africa and Cambodia programs are working with partners to demonstrate ways of protecting ecosystems to provide services that help meet development objectives. Programs have identified needs for reliable watershed decision support information that will better characterize linkages between freshwater ecosystems and service flows, and attribute economic value to services. Some of the recently developed decision support tools e.g., Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST), Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) and FIESTA/WaterWorld help address some of CI's field program needs, however, our experience suggests that an integrated decision support system combining multiple tools is needed to sufficiently address the complex realities of watershed management.

Published in:

Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

Oct. 30 2011-Nov. 1 2011