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(KSA 2) Water-Linked Ecosystems

(KSA 2) Water-Linked Ecosystems 

Thrust 2: Ecosystem Management

Scope: This thrust includes research which specifically addresses the management of ecosystems for sustainable utilisation for the provision of the ecosystem benefits that people depend on. Central to this is the need to manage the social and economic requirements of society from ecosystems and the implementation of policy and legislation.  Support will be provided in building the capacity to implement the research findings.

Programme 1: Ecological Reserve

Scope: Research in this programme will be conducted to develop and refine methods for determining and operationalizing the ecological Reserve as required by the NWA. The programme will address the more strategic issues such as the development of new and improved methods as well as the shorter-term issues such as implementation of the Reserve. This programme is managed in close association with DWA.

Programme 2: Rivers, wetlands,  groundwater, lakes, coastal and marine (and estuarine) ecosystems

Scope: Within this programme research will be conducted to develop an understanding of the the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on aquatic ecosystems in various water resources. This understanding is then conveyed to stakeholders (tiers of Government, communities) as management guidelines to inform them on how to manage water resources sustainably.

Programme 3:   Land-use and aquatic ecosystems management


Scope: The programme focuses on enhancing understanding of the effect of human interventions (land uses and decision making) on the environmental health of various water resources and/or ecosystems. As such the programme covers all water resource types, hence the inclusive name of: National Aquatic Ecosystem Health Monitoring Programme is used, with RHP focusing only on rivers.

Programme 4: Integrated Environmental   and Drinking Water Quality

Scope: Within this programme research will be conducted to develop integrated methods and procedures which will be employed to protect people and the environment from the effects of poor water quality. The programme  will develop methods and competence to support issuing of water  or ecosystem use. This will promote the  use of research knowledge in managing environmental water quality as required in the ecological Reserve, and thus reduce drinking water treatment costs

Programme 5: Ecosystems risks and Disaster management

Scope:  Environmental risk management programme will be supported by research from this portfolio. Risk assessment methodologies and procedures will be developed and improved. The research will develop knowledge needed for environmental risks mitigation and adaptation. Tools and procedures will assessed with the intention of developing them. The success of the programme will be achieved by working closely with water resource managers and relevant government departments.

Programme 6: Biodiversity and  Conservation

Scope: The overall objective of this programme is to develop and integrate knowledge needed by the country to efforts for protection and preserving our unique biodiversity and natural land scape. The projects will look at drivers (sociological, political and economic) that are critical in developing the understanding and competence necessary to sustainably manage the aquatic environment and its biodiversity. Collaboration and partnership with other institutions will be considered for this programme to achieve its aim.

Programme 7: Governance, Legal Framework and Ethics

Scope:  Implementation of research output and regulations require appropriate governance system and structure. The overall objective of this programme is to develop understanding of what is required for the successful governance of aquatic ecosystems and how to build the necessary capacity to implement this.  The research under this programme should develop knowledge needed for good governance of water resources. The research will develop knowledge needed to support policy, planning and development that promote protection of ecosystems and water resources.

Programme 8 : Trans-boundary Ecosystems Management

This programme will support projects that enhance ecosystems processes and functions, conservation and planning across regional and national borders. Transboundary research has gained some interest in recent years, and neighbouring countries or catchments will have to manage shared natural capital in integrated manner. Collaborations with neighbouring countries and international funding agencies will be considered for research under this programme.

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