Lake 2010: Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change
22nd-24th December 2010

Symposium focusing on lakes popularly known as “Lake symposium” was initiated by the Energy & Wetlands Research Group at Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in the year 1998. The theme was broadened  in 2000 (Lake 2000) with a wider participation of organisations such as Karnataka Environment Research Foundation, etc. The basic idea of the symposium was to bring out the trends in ecosystem conservation, restoration and management including the hydrological, bio-physical, people’s participation and the role of non-governmental, educational and the governmental organizations and the future research needs.  Lake 2010 will be the 7th Biennial Lake Conference would focus on  “Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change” to commemorate the International Year of Biodiversity. The United Nations has declared year 2010 as the the International Year of Biodiversity and this provides a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth.

Wetland ecosystems are cradles of biological diversity, providing the water and primary productivity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival. The degradation of these vital ecosystems is linked to continuing problems of land cover changes, deforestation, habitat fragmentation, pollution, indiscriminate disposal of liquid and solid wastes, and issues related to economic productivity and ecological security. The structural changes in the ecosystem due to land cover changes, will influence the functional aspects namely hydrology, bio-geo chemical cycles and nutrient cycling, which are evident in many regions in the form of conversion of perennial streams to seasonal and disappearance of water bodies leading to a serious water crisis. There is growing evidence that biological diversity will be severely threatened by rapid climate change. Also, hydrological changes could be the dominant effect of climate change, as snowmelt increases, as evaporation rates increase and as droughts, storms and floods intensify. Much of the hydrological changes will be reflected in changes in freshwater ecosystems including most of the wetland areas. The biological impacts include dwindling of the biodiversity, habitat damage and loss of spawning grounds of aquatic organisms, reduction in inland fisheries resources and loss of vegetation. Conservation of natural resources through sustainable ecosystem management and development is the key to our secured future. Formulation and implementation of action plans that best conserve aquatic resources requires an understanding of issues, concerns, and threats to water resources are identified, and cause and effect relationships. Approaches towards this direction include:

  • Fostering participation of all stakeholders to ensure that individuals and organizations are provided an opportunity to participate in the development of aquatic resources conservation activities;
  • Encouraging intergovernmental initiatives through partnerships between communities and non-profit organizations;
  • Identifying significant natural, recreational, economic, cultural, scenic resources and aquatic ecosystem values
  • Identifying potential threats to aquatic resources and values
  • Recommending policies and actions that can be undertaken to restore, maintain or enhance aquatic resources.

In this backdrop, Lake 2010 focussing on wetlands, biodiversity and climate change would bring in awareness among school students, teachers and public. This also provides a forum for researchers, technologists, economists, sociologists and others to meet and discuss water related issues. This symposium will:

  • introduce the major types of ecosystems - characteristics, diversity and importance;
  • describe the main physical and biological processes important in several major types of ecosystems, and their consequences for community structure and function;
determine how the process and institutional innovations are embedded in the bio-physical context and characteristics of water, and how the technologies also get shaped by and operate in as part of social and institutional processes and contexts.
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