This year, The Rivers Trust’s Spring Conference, hosted by South East Rivers Trust, will focus on delivering a Natural Capital approach to adapt our ecosystems to climate change. Our natural capital – the stock of natural assets that we rely on – is under threat from climate change. It is key to the provision of clean and plentiful water and other ecosystem services. In order to continue providing the services we need, we have to restore our ecosystems to become more resilient and adapt. The conference, held on Tuesday 5th March in Canterbury, will explore ways in which we can manage the landscape to increase the resilience of our water resources, increasing its availability for people and the environment, creating more resilient catchments. The day will include keynote speeches from Ian Dickie (Director, eftec) and Jan Verheeke (Flemish Environment and Nature Council, Belgium) on how a natural capital approach can help us adapt to the various challenges of climate change. Focusing on key aspects of how to facilitate adaptation, the conference will be split into 3 sessions: Session 1: Creating resilient catchments - measures to protect and restore our water resources This session will focus on on-the-ground delivery of adaptation measures to protect our water resources and will include presentations by
- Barry Bendall (Director, Water and Land - The Rivers Trust) on work in the Catchment based Approach community on taking an ecosystems approach to protecting water resources;
- Bronwyn Buntine (Sustainable Drainage Team Leader – Kent County Council) on delivering SuDS for groundwater recharge;
- Tom Ormesher (Environment and Land Use Adviser – National Farmers’ Union) on adapting agriculture to climate change and the impacts of water scarcity;
- Shaun Dowman (Agricultural Advisor – Affinity Water) onhow water companies are building resilient catchments;
- Emmanuel Van Houtte (Intercommunal Water Company, BE) on water re-use to meet water demands.
- Arlin Rickard (Chief Executive – The Rivers Trust) on sustainable finance and green bonds for creating resilient catchments;
- Liz Lowe (GB Sustainability Manager – Coca Cola) on ‘Replenish’ and accounting for water use and investing in natural capital;
- Hazel Kendall (Head of Land Management – Westcountry Rivers Trust) on business investment in ecosystem services;
- Emma Claydon (Economist – Environment Agency) on developing alternative mechanisms for climate resilience;
- South East Water on preparing for climate change by investing in resilient catchments.
- Anneka France (GIS and Data – The Rivers Trust) on accessing data for water resource management through the Catchment based Approach;
- David Johnson (Director of River Ecosystem Services – The Rivers Trust) on building a common understanding of a groundwater system;
- Emma Rothero (Floodplain Meadows Partnership Manager – The Open University) – on using evidence of floodplain ecosystem services to improve management;
- Cuy Thompson (Managing Director – Entrade) on evidencing the outcomes of management interventions;
- Jane Herbert (Project Manager – Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust) on aquifer recharge in agricultural landscapes and the evidence from the first trials.