Valuing Rivers: WWF at World Water Week 2018

Posted on 02 July 2018

Save the date for WWF’s sessions, seminars and showcases in Stockholm from August 26-30
The theme of the 2018 World Water Week in Stockholm – ‘Water, ecosystems and human development’ – is very close to WWF’s heart and fully in tune with our global freshwater strategy. It is also the perfect place to focus attention on the Value of Rivers.
WWF will be sending a team of experts from across the world to the conference to drive key global narratives (valuing rivers, impact of sand mining, banking on finance to save river basins), offer innovative solutions (upgraded Water Risk Filter), share lessons from successful partnerships (Mating belongs to all!), and learn from other experts in the freshwater field.
Along with a booth packed with interactive features, WWF will be directly involved in around 20 sessions, seminars and showcases – as well as a series of evening events.
So if you’re coming to Stockholm, save these dates. And if you’re not, feel free to reach out to us to find out more. You can find the full programme here.

Sunday 26 August
A new global initiative: The Alliance for Freshwater Life (09:00-10:30 – FH Cabaret) is an ambitious global collaboration to halt losses of freshwater biodiversity, and stimulate research, conservation and policy dialogue for the sustainable use of freshwater ecosystems. This showcase will launch the Alliance, bringing together expertise from some of the world’s top institutions specialized in research, conservation, environmental education, outreach, and policy for sustaining freshwater biodiversity. Using examples of successes and key lessons learnt, we will engage the audience in an interactive session to inspire and mobilize a collaboration among diverse stakeholders – and ensure the conversation keeps going well after the showcase is over.
Convenors – IHE Delft / IUCN / WWF / Conservation International / Alliance for Global Water Adaptation / Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries / National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
The Water Risk Filter 5.0: Explore, Assess, Value and Respond (11.00-11.45 – NL 353) will officially launch the upgraded Water Risk Filter, which was co-developed by WWF and DEG. Boasting a wealth of new functions, this unique tool will enable companies and investors to Explore, Assess, Value and Respond to worsening water risks. Along with the most water risk data (including high resolution data for 10 countries), Version 5.0 will also offer 130 response actions and a new valuation module. Find out more at
Convenors – WWF & DEG -Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

Valuing Rivers: How the diverse benefits of rivers underpin economies (18.00-19.00) Launch of a new flagship report on urgent need for decision makers from public and private sector to understand and value the diverse benefits for rivers, including freshwater fisheries, stable deltas and flood mitigation. Report provides a new framework for improving how societies measure, value, protect and restore rivers’ diverse benefits.

Monday 27 August
Sand mining’s concrete threats to rivers: impacts and potential solutions (14.00-15.30 – NL 461) will discuss growing concerns about the impact of sand and gravel mining (by far the world’s largest extractive industry) on rivers across the globe – and the people, economies and ecosystems that depend on them. Unsustainable sand mining could result in riverbank collapse, deepening of river beds, sinking deltas and coastal erosion as well as biodiversity loss, especially when coupled with the impacts of dams and climate change. Illegal and poorly regulated sand mining also reduces the benefits that local and national economies could receive from this renewable natural resource. Along with a new WWF-commissioned global review of the impacts of sand mining on rivers, the event will bring together governments, industry, conservationists and civil society to discuss existing threats and share potential solutions that could result in more sustainable sand mining.
Convenors – WWF / Stockholm Environment Institute

Addressing Challenges to Unlock Financing of Nature-based Solutions for Water (16.00-17.30 – FH Little Theatre) will look at how to scale up growing public and private investments in NbWS. This event will explore regulatory environment and incentives for public and private investments; the capacity gap for finance design and overall implementation; making the business case from a corporate perspective; and valuing and measuring the social and environmental co-benefits.

Convenors – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation / Swiss Water Partnership / South Pole Group / HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation / International Union for Conservation of Nature / World Wide Fund for Nature

Freshwater Conservation-WASH integration: high-level and local-level challenges and opportunities (16:00-17:30 – NL 461) will be an interactive event where participants will examine challenges and opportunities related to working with government or policy around integration of WASH and freshwater ecosystem conservation. The panel will examine how integrated freshwater conservation-WASH programs can catalyze work around meeting multiple SDG commitments and reflect on different approaches carried out at the national level down to local or district level.

Convenors - Conservation International / WWF / The Nature Conservancy / HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation / Water For People / Millennium Water Alliance / IRC / Wetlands International
Tuesday 28 August
Water for Fish: Sustainable Inland Fisheries (11.00-12.30 – FH 202) will look into key issues around sustainable inland fisheries and how they relate to food security, nutritional and livelihoods importance, ecosystem management, threats, and links to SDGs. Experts from around the globe will also provide overviews of challenges, opportunities, and successful initiatives in inland fisheries hotspots. The session will also discuss current and future actions to address key challenges and opportunities, and conclude with identification of next steps to promote inland fisheries community of practice.

Convenors - Conservation International / World Wide Fund for Nature / The Nature Conservancy / United States Geological Survey / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / Wetlands International / University of Hull International Fisheries Institute

Tapping shared lessons: recent global experience of implementing environmental flows (14.00-15.30 – NL Music Hall) will examine the latest developments in environmental flows policy and practice. While eflows have been widely assessed, their implementation has been limited, especially in developing counties. But new tools and the ambitious efforts of national governments, inter-governmental institutions, and even the private sector reveal how eflows can be embedded in policy and practice and contribute to achieving the SDGs. This event event will involve thought, policy and practice leaders from diverse institutions to share, discuss, and debate the latest advancements worldwide.

Convenors - IHE Delft / WWF / Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat / University of Melbourne
Free-flowing rivers: global status and solutions for securing their benefits (16.00-17.30 – NL 357) will highlight the importance for people and nature of free-flowing rivers. It will introduce a global study and conceptual framework to define free-flowing rivers and quantify, map and monitor their status – and then review various solutions to maintain or restore their benefits. These solutions range from system-scale planning aimed at guiding the siting and design of new river infrastructure, to the re-operation of existing dams to restore natural flow patterns, and the strategic removal of aging infrastructure to reconnect rivers and floodplains. Panelists will emphasize how specific examples, methods and tools can be integrated into government policies, strategic planning efforts, and private sector practices to have global impact on sustainable

Convenors - The Nature Conservancy / International Finance Corporation / WWF / World Fish Migration Foundation / McGill University
Wednesday 29 August
Industry’s role in ecosystem and watershed management (09.00-10.30 & 11.00-12.30 & 14.00-15.30 – FH 307). Demand for water from the private sector is increasing. Industries are implementing strategies that address water across watersheds and value chains and private stewards are proactively engaged on policy and technology innovation. Addressing complex challenges or "wicked problems" such as water and ecosystem management, and their impact on human development, require collective action and business ecosystem strategies. In many cases the public sector alone lacks the resources needed to address these complex challenges. For the SDGs to be achieved by 2030 the private sector will be a critical partner with other stakeholders. The private sector must have a strategy which compels them to move beyond their fenceline to address risks (including proactively engaging with the public sector, consumers, customers and other stakeholders), drive business growth and contribute to solving environmental and social issues.
Convenors – SIWI / WWF / International Council on Mining and Metals

Eye on LAC: Water Reserves – an ecological water management model (11.00-12.30 – FH Congress Hall A) will discuss the origins and achievements of Mexico’s pioneering programme of water reserves, which represent a fruitful collaboration between governments, NGOs, and academic institutions that combines technical and policy aspects. The initiative has proven to be an effective water management and biodiversity conservation strategy that has reduced climate change vulnerability in several strategic watersheds. The session will also discuss options for replicating and scaling up the model throughout LAC, with focus on countries such as Peru and Guatemala.

Convenors - WWF / Inter-American Development Bank / National Water Commission, Mexico / CAF - Development Bank of Latin America
Mating Belongs to All: Finland’s love affair with migratory fish (12.00-12.45 – FH Cabaret) will look at how Finland’s endangered migratory fish received a lifeline from an innovative ‘Mating Belongs to All’ campaign launched by WWF and the Finnish trading sector pioneer K Group – highlighting how various obstacles stop migratory fish from breeding. Within months, the national attitude towards migratory fish and river infrastructure had been transformed. Landowners were identifying obsolete small dams, volunteers were dismantling them, and the media was championing the change. This session will showcase the most successful components of the campaign, explaining how Finns were first entertained, then educated and finally engaged – and how it can be replicated elsewhere.

Convenors – K Group / WWF
Water stewardship collaboration for the textiles sector (16.00-17.30 – NL Music Hall 456) will examine the challenges and opportunities of current sector water stewardship activities and tools, and explore how the textiles sector can align to accelerate change through collective action in key water risk regions. In particular, the discussions will focus on how to co-ordinate resources to drive improvements in impacts, development and water governance in priority regions, and whether the relevant brands and organisations can come together within a global collaboration for textiles water stewardship. Speakers will discuss opportunities for an aligned approach on thought leadership, target setting, policy engagement, data and tools, and particularly on-ground water stewardship programmes. 
Convenors – WWF / UNGC CEO Water Mandate / HSBC / Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Re-allocation in River Basins: Efficiency, Sufficiency, Sustainability (16.00-17.30 – NL 357) will discuss one of the greatest policy challenges of our time - how to prioritise different river basin benefits and functions given increasing competition for limited water resources. The session will focus on irrigation and the challenges associated with managing equitable and transparent water allocation with hydrological and geographical factors and legacy infrastructure, combined with institutions favouring a form of lock-in. It will also look at how private sector interests regarding irrigation must be better informed of broader basin water challenges, and contribute to sustainable water resources management.
Convenors – WWF / University of East Anglia / IUCN / FAO / University of Cranfield / Institute of Natural Resources NPC
Thursday 30 August
P&G and partners identify priority regions…now what? (09.00-10.30 – NL 353) will look at P&G’s efforts to  understand water risk across its value chain over the past five years. This showcase will briefly introduce the risk assessment process and results used by P&G to identify priority basins. The session will then focus on engaging with participants to help P&G answer the question: "Now what?" The discussion will focus primarily around basins within the countries of Mexico, China, India, and the United States.
Convenors - Procter & Gamble Company / World Resources Institute / WWF / Environmental Resources Management
The global water convention: an opportunity for transboundary water cooperation (11.00-12.30 – NL Pillar Hall) will discuss the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). In particular, it will debate the opportunities linked to the globalization of the Convention – after Chad became the first country outside the UNECE region to accede to the Convention. Other, especially African countries, have expressed their intention to follow suit.  This opening offers an opportunity to reshape the Convention’s regime and its impact to improve transboundary water cooperation.
Convenors - United Nations Economic Commission for Europe / IUCN / WWF / Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean / Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland / Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France / Swiss Federal Office for the Environment / Government of the Netherlands / Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany / Ministry of Interior, Hungary / Government of Chad / Government of Senegal
Water stewardship: Partnership and Financing Models for Scale (14.00-15.30 – NL Pillar Hall) brings together several catalytic organizations and initiatives to share lessons and discuss the power of partnerships in accelerating stewardship outcomes. The session aims to present country-level examples of water stewardship networks, discuss how innovative financing models can drive sustainability of solutions, identify key factors for the effective design and delivery of programmes, and develop a joint action plan for further collaboration to enhance the impacts of stewardship initiatives.

2030 Water Resources Group / The World Bank Group / International Water Stewardship Program / Alliance for Water Stewardship / UNGC CEO Water Mandate / World Business Council for Sustainable Development / WWF
The evolution of water risk assessment (16.00-17.30 – FH 202) will look at how the next generation of approaches are emerging, with a focus on concepts such as context and valuation. This event will seek to outline not only trends in corporate water risk assessment tools, but present the state of the art through an understanding of the latest innovations. The session will also engage some of the leading environmental, social & governance (ESG) data providers to explain how water risk is being incorporated to help shape financial markets.
Convenors – WWF / WRI
Ariel view free flowing river
© Santiago Gibert/WWF
Fishermen scare fish into their nets along the water ways of the Nam Mao river.
© Nicolas Axelrod / Ruom / WWF-Greater Mekong
A crocodile swimming in the Pantanal
© Andre Dib/WWF
The Water Risk Filter map
Sand mining in Poyang Lake in China. Part of Yangtze river basin
© Justin Jin / WWF
The River Itchen
© Andrew Parkinson / WWF-UK
The Chairwoman of the Community Forest User Group drinking from the local water spout in Nepal.
© Karine Aigner/WWF-US
Mekong Irrawaddy Dolphin
© Cambodia WWF / Gerry Ryan / WWF-Greater Mekong
Close up of a Sockeye salmon
© Andrew S. Wright / WWF-Canada
An aerial view of a hydro power generating station in the Bristol Bay watershed
© Paul Colangelo / WWF-US
An aerial view of the Amazon river running through the Peruvian rainforest
© Nicolas Villaume / WWF-US
A deer in the Yangtze River Basin, China
© Audra Melton / The Coca-Cola Company / WWF
Fishermen in the Usumacinta River, Mexico
© Thor Morales/WWF-Mexico
Whirlpool with pieces of ice in water, Kitkajoki River, Finland
© Wild Wonders of Europe / Sven Zacek / WWF
Examining fibre quality
© Asim Hafeez / WWF-UK
Local Thai farmer works a water pump to irrigate her fields.
© Luke Duggleby / WWF-US
Swimming sea otter swimming at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve
© Knute Brekke
The Mulgrave River winds its way through farm land
© James Morgan/ WWF
Deep cracks in the dry rice fields
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
View from the plane of East Kalimantan
© Simon Rawles/ WWF
Boat on San Martin River, Beni Department of Bolivia
© Jaime Rojo / WWF-US