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Home > Resources > News > News 2013 > IUCN World Congress - Knowledge Café Sept 11th, 2012

IUCN World Congress - Knowledge Café Sept 11th, 2012

Topic: "The Global Wetlands Observing System (GWOS): GEO BON support for Ramsar"

Building on the concept of the philosophical cafés, whereby a group of thinkers gather to discuss important questions, the Congress’s Knowledge Café September 11th, 2012 session has achieved a deep level of analysis on the development of GWOS.

The discussion group has included representatives from diverse potential users, who can ensure that the GWOS effectively covers the ecological, biophysical, and socio-economic characteristics of freshwater ecosystems.

DIVERSITAS project freshwaterBIODIVERSITY was represented by Ian Harisson, also member of GEO BON (Freshwater Biodiversity working group).

The main objectives of this session were to discuss the priorities for designing and managing GWOS, and the likely applications and user needs for GWOS, to bring in new expertise and perspectives to the development of the GWOS.

The outcomes of the meeting are:

1) The participants at the Knowledge Cafe are interesting in collaborating on GWOS development.

2) An analysis of users' needs should be developed to identify: (i) what are the major questions on wetland science and management GWOS could help responding to; (ii) what data sets are available to answer these questions; and (iii) what additional data need to be assimilated to broaden the scope of GWOS (i.e. where are the major data gaps).

3) An initial prototype could be developed (even before completing the needs analysis). This prototype should not be too complex, but instead should be simple in design, focused on a few appropriate data sets that can answer some specific scientific questions also relevant to policy-makers such as the Aichi Targets. A specific region may be choosen to test the prototype.

4) ESRI can assimilate their wetland data as an initial trial and some specific action items have been identified to facilitate this.

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