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The Adaptive Watershed: Training program for inclusive, ecosystem-based watershed management

Publication Overview

The Adaptive Watershed: Training program for inclusive, ecosystem-based watershed management

The Adaptive Watershed (TAW) is watershed-based ecosystem management that explicitly addresses the need to understand and manage for a rapidly changing climate, while also incorporating the needs of vulnerable communities and women.

In this initiative, IISD combines the interlinked concepts of ecosystem management and adaptive management into the context of watershed-based planning and implementation. Ecosystem management focuses on understanding processes, functions and benefits from natural ecological units. Both ecosystem management and watershed management reinforce the links between physical, ecological, social and economic systems to ensure that environmental and economic needs are met and enhanced for long-term future security. Adaptive management promotes a plan-do-check-correct method of management where goals and implementation plans are seen as iterative in responding to changing natural, social and economic conditions and priorities, particularly around a rapidly changing climate.

IISD has been working with partners to explore the implementation of these frameworks in a variety of ways. Our past work on ecosystem management—from concept to local-scale implementation—has highlighted the complementary elements of ecosystem and watershed management, and provided guidance for effective implementation to watershed managers and those in related planning roles. Other IISD work reviewed integrated water resource initiatives in different parts of the world to assess their application of ecosystem management concepts and tools. Similarly, our current work on ecosystem-based adaptation and gender equity contribute to this work.

This document outlines a training program intended for those in roles related to land and water management, climate adaptation and gender equity. This proposed three-day training will expose local decision-makers to a range of issues and build understanding and capacity for implementing integrated, equitable, adaptive management in watersheds. The training comprises 14 modules within three main themes. These themes include: understanding our watershed and our people; making informed decisions for an adaptive watershed plan; and inclusive management: committing to action and evaluation.