The Rivers Trust Conference: Water at the heart of climate resilience

The Rivers Trust Conference: Water at the heart of climate resilience

The Rivers Trust Conference: Water at the heart of climate resilience

Online event

This year, The Rivers Trust joins with Westcountry Rivers Trust to deliver its annual conference online for the first time. On 16th and 17th March, we will be looking at climate change, one of the most pressing issues of our age.

Water is the life source of our planet and therefore it must be at the heart of policies and projects mitigating the effects of climate change, and building a society that is better prepared for its consequences. We know that the impacts of the climate crisis will be felt first and most dramatically through the effects on water resources. Changing rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures will result in more floods, more droughts and greater vulnerability to pollution.

As the world continues to experience the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that water and climate are not overlooked in the national conversation, but made a fundamental aspect of a truly green – and we hope, blue – recovery. The work of the Rivers Trust Movement is critical to building our national climate resilience given the predicted impacts on the UK.  To build resilience, we need to anticipate what the risks will be, understand what we want to protect and prioritise, and mobilise to accelerate the recovery of our depleted natural water resources.

Day One will run from 09:00-12:30 GMT and has a particular focus on European projects. With keynote speeches from Tony Juniper and Laurence Couldrick, the programme will recognise some of the most innovative climate resilience initiatives from across the continent. It will also address questions of how these projects can be supported, and how the UK can continue to cooperate internationally, in the post-Brexit era.

Day Two runs from 09:00-15:30 GMT and covers several topics within water and climate resilience. Presentations and panel discussions will be delivered on some of most prominent themes in the environment sector, including citizen science monitoring and addressing the links systemic inequality and climate change. Keynote speeches will be delivered by Liv Garfield, Simmone Ahiaku, and Mark Lloyd, who will draw the event to a close.

Keep reading to find out more about our fantastic keynote speakers, and to see the full agenda outline.

Register now to join the event and take your place in the climate conversation.

Keynote Speakers

Simmone Ahiaku is an award-winning changemaker, campaigner and activist who has contributed to environmental, social and cultural work in Bristol, London and across the UK. Previously the Fossil Free Campaigns Coordinator at People and Planet, Simmone developed her skills and campaigning around climate justice, collective liberation and solidarity. She uses facilitated workshops to explore climate colonialism and climate resistance histories

Dr Laurence Couldrick is CEO of Westcountry Rivers Trust and has been pioneering catchment management for over 18 years. Over that time he has developed several multi-million pound projects to deliver catchment improvements, climate change adaptation and catchment resilience. Alongside this, he has used the complex problems society faces as a way of uniting the myriad of partnerships and interest groups in the West Country.

Liv Garfield CBE has been Chief Executive of Severn Trent since 2014. Severn Trent is one of the three largest water companies in the UK, and is a member of the FTSE100. Before this, she worked at BT and was responsible for the delivery of one of the fastest and most ambitious deployments of fibre broadband in the world. Liv was appointed a CBE in October 2020 for services to the water industry, and she plays a leading role in the sector’s race to net zero.

Tony Juniper CBE is Chair of the official nature conservation agency Natural England. Previously he was the Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK and President of the Wildlife Trusts. He was the Special Advisor for The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and Executive Director at Friends of the Earth.

Mark Lloyd joined The Rivers Trust as Chief Executive in 2019. He was previously Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal where he played a transformational role representing the UK’s three million anglers and taking legal action against polluters. Prior to that, Mark was Chief Executive of Thames21, one of The Rivers Trust’s current members. He is now focused on scaling up the work of The Rivers Trust through a new five-year strategy.


Agenda Outline

Tuesday 16th March

09.00     Welcome and introductions
– Laurence Couldrick keynote speech
– Tony Juniper keynote speech

09.45     Break
10.00     Protecting water resources
– Presentations + Q&A

11.00     Break

11.15     Holding water back
            – Presentations + Q&A

12.30     End

Wednesday 17th March

09.00     Welcome
– Liv Garfield keynote speech

09.20     Abundance and scarcity: climate-related water challenges
– Presentations + Q&A

10.00     Break

10.15     Climate resilience, the individual, and communities
– Presentation
– Simmone Ahiaku keynote speech
– Panel discussion + Q&A

11.45     Break

12.00     Spotlight on projects and partnerships
– Presentations + Q&A

13.00     Lunch break

14.00     Thriving river and land environments
– Presentations
– Panel discussion

15.00     Final remarks
– Mark Lloyd keynote speech

15.30     End

Register here.

View the event agenda.

About our supporters:

The conference is supported by Triple-C, which focuses on the capitalisation of successful initiatives and projects relating to the prevention and management of risks derived from climate change. Together with partners across the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal, the collective findings from more than 300 projects will be reviewed along with the investigation and promotion of actions that can ameliorate the impacts on society. These risks include flooding, drought, erosion, water pollution and fire from major habitat types including urban, agricultural, forest, coastal, marine, lakes and rivers.


Event Link