Prestigious keynote speakers

Opening plenary - Tuesday 5 June, 9:15-12:30

Claudia PAHL-WOSTL, Osnabrück University
"Transforming water governance - A diagnostic approach"

Claudia Pahl-WostlClaudia Pahl-Wostl is full professor for resources management at the Institute for Environmental Systems Research (USF) in Osnabrück, Germany. She is an internationally leading scholar on governance and adaptive and integrated management of water resources and the role of social and societal learning.

Claudia Pahl-Wostl was Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the GWSP (Global Water System Project) and is now member of the planning committee of the solution-oriented “Sustainable Water Future Programme”. She has participated in and coordinated several European project, that focused in particular on the transition from current regimes of water management in a river basin to more integrated, adaptive approaches. The project had case studies in Europe, Africa and Central Asia, where new methods were developed and tested in participatory settings. In 2012 the Bode Foundation Water Management Prize was awarded to Prof. Pahl-Wostl for the pioneering interdisciplinary work on “Governance in times of change” and comparative analyses of water governance in large river basins.

Tabea STÖTTER, International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine
"Transboundary cooperation in the Rhine river basin"

Martine Rohn-BrossardMartine Rohn-Brossard has had a last-minute change in her agenda, therefore her colleague Tabea Stötter will come and present the transboundary cooperation in the Rhine River basin.

Tabea Stötter has been working for the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) since March 2015. She has a PhD in Climate Sciences from the University of Bern and a MSc in Environmental Geosciences from the University of Basel. In the ICPR she supports the working groups dealing with water quality and emissions. Beside the general monitoring and warning systems these working groups of the ICPR are concerned with micropollutants, new ways of detection and contamination of biota.

Michael MURRAY-HUDSON, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana
"Hydro-Ecological functioning of the Okavango Delta, Botswana"

Michael Murray-HudsonMichael-Murray-Hudson is Senior Research Scholar in Wetland Ecology and Environmental Monitoring Coordinator at the Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana. His current projects: - Building capacity for biodiversity data management and dissemination in the Okavango Delta. - Population ecology of riparian trees along the Thamalakane River, Botswana; - Effects of Elevated Levels of Macronutrients (N, P) on growth of Cyperus papyrus - Assessment of Role of Factors (physical, socio-economic and biological) Driving Fish yield Fluctuations in the Cahora Bassa reservoir, Mozambique. - Ongoing: Species distribution modelling of floodplain plants in the Okavango

Michael will present the exceptional Okavango river that never reaches the sea. The Okavango begins in Angola and empties into a swamp in the Kalahari Desert, in the North of Botswana. Its specific hydro-ecological process makes it a rich and varied habitat for an exceptional wildlife. A tri-partite commission (OKACOM) was established in 1994 to promote coordinated and environmentally sustainable regional water resources development, while addressing the legitimate social and economic needs of each of the riparian states.

Closing plenary - Thursday 7 June, 11:00-12:30

Jean-Louis MICHELOT, Ecosphère
"Sensitive Rhône river"

Jean-Louis MichelotJean-Louis Michelot is a geographer and a naturalist. His PhD (Lyon III Univ.) was about the integrated management of natural areas in the Rhône valley, under the supervision of Pr. J.P. Bravard. Currently regional director of Ecosphère, a consulting firm in applied ecology, he has coordinated many studies on the main French hydrosystems and their conservation.

For several years, he has been seeking a global understanding of the natural environment, combining knowledge, action, physical contact, and a sensitive approach. In this spirit, he organises « peculiar hikes » with stage actors and musicians, where the participants are invited to discover the banks of the Rhône, through naturalist observations, immersion in the world of writers and poets, listening the birds and musics inspired by the place...

Rebecca THARME, Riverfutures
"Rivers, Flows and People - Connecting Ecosystems with Human Communities, Cultures and Livelihoods"

Rebecca TharmeAs Director of Riverfutures and an independent aquatic ecologist, Dr Rebecca Tharme collaborates with government agencies, development and non-governmental organisations, researchers and communities to develop policy appropriate solutions and capacity for environmental water management.

Rebecca has 27 years of experience working in interdisciplinary, multicultural partnerships and projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She is an Adjunct Principal Research Fellow of the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, and chairs the global Sustainable Water Future Programme’s Working Group on Rivers, Flows and People. She serves on IUCN’s Freshwater Conservation Subcommittee, and on the jury panel for Swiss Re Foundation’s international ReSource Award to foster entrepreneurial thinking and leadership in managing water sustainably. She held prior positions as Director of Partnerships for Great Rivers in The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water Program, and as a theme leader and senior researcher at the International Water Management Institute. Rebecca is a Freshwater Science Associate Editor for Frontiers in Environmental Science.