Natural and artificial lakes store nearly 90% of all liquid surface fresh water on the planet and are vital to economies, societies and ecosystems worldwide. Yet, these ecosystems face increasing pressure from biodiversity loss, pollution and rising temperatures. Recognizing these threats, in March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a landmark resolution on Sustainable Lake Management (SLM). It calls on countries to protect, conserve, restore, and sustainably use lakes and reservoirs, while integrating them into national and regional development plans. In this course, participants will be introduced to the new proposed definition of SLM and its foundational principles. Participants will also learn how to determine lake baseline status, and develop components of a lake recovery plan, including effective monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, various tools and technologies, including nature-based solutions and components of effective governance and stakeholder management will be explored. Finally, various financing mechanisms available for SLM, and guidance on accessing, them will be presented.
The course aims to improve practitioners’ understanding of SLM and equip them with the tools to create and implement a lake recovery plan that considers diverse stakeholder input and is tailored to the participants’ unique environmental and socioeconomic conditions. The course discusses the main threats facing lakes and existing Integrated Lake Basin Management (ILBM) and Principles of Ecosystem Restoration approaches that form the basis of sustainable lake management. Ways to identify existing baseline conditions, challenges and information gaps are presented, together with opportunities for financing and possible solutions regarding transboundary lake basin challenges. By the end of the course, participants will be able to design, implement, and refine participatory lake recovery plans that promote the sustainable use of lake resources.
The course will enable participants to:
- Gain an overview of the key threats impacting lakes, the new proposed definition of SLM and fundamental principles underlying it.
- Identify existing baseline conditions, current pressures on and gaps in the system, and key components of a lake recovery plan.
- Implement effective monitoring and evaluation to track progress of their recovery plan and identify tools and technologies they can use to achieve this.
- Understand the importance of effective institutions and policies in SLM and gain strategies for stakeholder engagement and transboundary lake management.
- Implement the gradual, cyclic process of SLM and evaluate appropriate financing opportunities for the situation they face.