This year, The Rivers Trust’s Spring Conference will focus on delivering a Natural Capital approach to adapt our ecosystems to climate change.
The conference will explore ways in which we can manage land to increase infiltration and water availability for people and the environment, and create more resilient catchments.
A range of UK and international speakers will present practical approaches to delivery, innovative funding mechanisms, and how to evidence success.
The conference will cover a variety of perspectives from landowners to business showing how different stakeholders can work together to protect the environment
Our natural capital – the stock of natural assets that we rely on – is under threat from climate change. It is key to the provision of clean and plentiful water and other ecosystem services. In order to continue providing the services we need, we have to restore our ecosystems to become more resilient and adapt.
The conference will explore ways in which we can manage the landscape to increase the resilience of our water resources, increasing its availability for people and the environment, creating more resilient catchments.
The day will include keynote speeches from Ian Dickie (Director, eftec) and Jan Verheeke (Flemish Environment and Nature Council, Belgium) on how a natural capital approach can help us adapt to the various challenges of climate change.
Focusing on key aspects of how to facilitate adaptation, the conference will be split into 3 sessions:
Session 1: Creating resilient catchments - measures to protect and restore our water resources
This session will focus on on-the-ground delivery of adaptation measures to protect our water resources and will include presentations by
- Barry Bendall (Director, Water and Land - The Rivers Trust) on work in the Catchment based Approach community on taking an ecosystems approach to protecting water resources;
- Bronwyn Buntine (Sustainable Drainage Team Leader – Kent County Council) on delivering SuDS for groundwater recharge;
- Tom Ormesher (Environment and Land Use Adviser – National Farmers’ Union) on adapting agriculture to water scarcity;
- Shaun Dowman (Agricultural Advisor – Affinity Water) on the effects of land management on water resources;
- Emmanuel Van Houtte (Intercommunal Water Company, BE) on water re-use and infiltration.
Session 2: Enabling adaptation - innovative approaches to funding and financing
In the second part of the day, we will focus on innovative ways in which funding can secure the provision of ecosystem services. Presentations will include:
- Arlin Rickard (Chief Executive – The Rivers Trust) on sustainable funding mechanisms, such as Green Bonds;
- Liz Lowe (GB Sustainability Manager – Coca Cola) on ‘Replenish’ and the business perspective on water resources;
- Hazel Kendall (Head of Land Management – Westcountry Rivers Trust) on developing business partnerships for catchments;
- Emma Claydon (Economist – Environment Agency) on developing innovative finance mechanisms in the EA;
- TBC - South East Water on funding resilient catchments.
Session 3: Proving Success - monitoring impacts and targeting measures for water resources
- Michelle Walker/Anneka France (GIS and Data – The Rivers Trust) on data and evidence available to Catchment Partnerships for water resource management;
- David Johnson (Director of River Ecosystem Services – The Rivers Trust) on evidence for protecting and restoring groundwater resources;
- Jan Staes (Department of Biology – University of Antwerp) – on developing a tool for quantifying and evaluating scenarios for ecosystem services;
- Jane Herbert (Project Manager – Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust) – on first evidence from groundwater recharge trials in Suffolk;
- Emma Rothero (Floodplain Meadows Partnership Manager – The Open University) – on evidencing ecosystem services of floodplains.
The day will include a panel discussion, time for networking and poster presentations from Rivers Trusts and partners.
The conference is free to attend, and we invite you to book as soon as possible.
Delegates are also warmly invited to the conference dinner the night before.