One of the main challenges in managing freshwater ecosystems lies in finding the balance between short-term socioeconomic development objectives and the need to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems to support more sustainable, long-term socioeconomic wellbeing.
UN Environment has developed a publication series entitled ‘A Framework for Freshwater Ecosystem Management’. The main aim of the series is to support countries to sustainably manage freshwater ecosystems. In doing so, it supports national and international goals related to freshwater ecosystems, such as certain Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.
Volume 1 of the series, ‘Overview and guide for country implementation’, provides an overview of the Framework, and places it in the context of supporting Agenda 2030. It is intended for a wide audience, including decision makers, practitioners, scientists, non-governmental organizations and the general public.
Volume 2, ‘Technical guide for classification and target-setting’, describes aspects of the Framework in more technical detail: classification systems for freshwater ecosystem types, setting targets for ecological status, and monitoring progress against these targets. It is primarily aimed at government agency staff responsible for the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems.
Volume 3 illustrates various case studies from around the world, detailing how steps from the Framework for Freshwater Ecosystem Management have been incorporated in freshwater ecosystem initiatives. It is intended to be a ‘living document’ that may be updated with new case studies.
Volume 4, ‘Scientific Background”, underpins the series and includes a review of water quality guidelines for ecosystems from around the world. It was the first volume in the series to be developed, beginning in 2013 over a number of years.