International workshop on remote sensing and eco-hydrology in arid regions in August 19-21, 2013, Lanzhou, China

The workshop date and venue have been changed to September 16-20, 2013, Beijing, China. (Updated Mar 27, 2013)

Water resources are precious in arid regions and severe water scarcity is the principle factor that constrains the development of local economy and deteriorates local ecology conditions. Globally, arid and semi-arid areas face the greatest pressures to deliver and manage freshwater resources. It has been estimated that by the 1990s 40% of the world’s population were suffering from serious water shortages and this is set to increase, with two-thirds of the population living under water stress by 2025.

In wake of the importance of limited water resources in maintaining ecological balance and assuring sustainable socio-economic development and the increasing conflicts of water demands between social sectors and river reaches, it demands an integrated river basin management to coordinate water uses. As in arid regions, the runoff generation and evapotranspiration consumes are strongly related to ecological processes such as vegetation spatial variations and structural dynamics, it is critical to understand the inherent laws of ecohydrological processes, quantitatively formulating the formation and consumption of water resources. For this purpose, a traditional hydrological model shall integrate ecological components and take advantage of new data sources and techniques such as remote sensing, in order to improve its predictable accuracy.

UNESCO’s programme for Water and Development Information for Arid Lands – a Global Network (G-WADI) was established in 2004 by the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP). Strengthening the capacity to manage the water resources of arid and semi-arid areas through the established G-WADI network is one of the priorities of IHP- VII (2008-2013) ‘Water Dependencies: Systems under Stress and Societal Responses’.

Goals & Objectives of G-WADI:

G-WADI aims to strengthen the global capacity to manage the water resources of arid and semi-arid areas. Its primary goal is to build an effective global community through integration of selected existing materials from networks, centres, organizations, and individuals who become members of G-WADI. The network promotes international and regional cooperation in the arid and semi-arid areas.

Specific objectives include:

  • improved understanding of the special characteristics of hydrological systems and water management needs in arid areas
  • capacity building of individuals and institutions, matching supply with need
  • broad dissemination of understanding of water in arid zones to the user community and the public
  • sharing data and exchanging experience to support research and sound water management
  • raising awareness of advanced technologies for data provision, data assimilation, and system analysis
  • promoting integrated basin management and the use of appropriate decision support tools.

Workshop topics:

This workshop, International workshop on remote sensing and eco-hydrology in arid regions, will bring together international renowned experts and scholars from Asian G-WADI member countries in eco-hydrology and relevant fields to share their knowledge and successful strategies for integrating sustainability perspectives. The workshop will allow participants to learn from one another about the expertise, opportunities and challenges in remote sensing and eco-hydrology in arid regions.

In collaboration with Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences, also the secretariat of the G-WADI Asian Network, the workshop will be held during mid-August, 2013 in Lanzhou, a major city in Northwest China.

The workshop will include a 2-day workshop and 1-day special meeting for the Asian G-WADI network, as well as a 2-day post-workshop field visit to the Heihe river basin, which is one of pilot basins selected by G-WADI.

Workshop will be open to participants in relevant fields from Asian G-WADI member countries, including 8 Central Asian countries, i.e., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mongolia, as well as those from China, India, and Iran. Each country will nominate 2-3 people. We estimate 20 people from Central Asian countries and 9 from China, India, and Iran. Also, 10 international renowned scholars will be invited to deliver their keynote speaks. 4 UNESCO officials will also join the workshop and following Network meeting. Totally, we estimate 43 attendees, plus 4 volunteers to help us organize this workshop.

Workshop topics include,

a)       Eco-hydrology processes and modelling in inland basins in arid regions

b)       Integrated study of ecological and hydrological processes in inland river basins

c)       Remote sensing applications to eco-hydrology in arid regions

d)       Ecological security, water resource sustainable utilization and integrated river basin management in arid regions

List of participants:

Participants from 8 Central Asian countries, i.e., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mongolia, as well as those from China, India, and Iran. The Turkish fund would go to support participants from Central Asia.

 Partnership:

 Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAREERI/CAS)

UNESCO Beijing Office

UNESCO IHP/G-WADI

TIKA

Chinese Academy of Sciences

National Nature Science Foundation of China

POC:

Xin Li, Professor of CAREERI/CAS, Asian-GWADI Secretariat, lixin@lzb.ac.cn, +86-931-4967249

Zhuotong Nan, Professor of CAREERI/CAS, Asian-GWADI Secretariat, nztong@lzb.ac.cn, +98-931-4967236

Xiaoduo Pan, Assistant Professor of CAREERI/CAS, Asian-GWADI Secretariat, panxiaoduo@lzb.ac.cn, +98-931-4967961