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2. Integrated Catchment Management - Vision

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This presentation was given as part of the EPA-funded Catchment Science and Management Course focusing on Integrated Catchment Management, held in June 2015. This course was delivered by RPS Consultants. If you have any queries or comments, or wish to use the material in this presentation, please contact catchments@epa.ie

It is increasingly being recognised internationally that integrated catchment management (ICM) is a useful organising framework for tackling the ongoing challenge of balancing sustainable use and development of our natural resource, against achieving environmental goals. The basic principles of ICM (Williams, 2012) are to:

• Take a holistic and integrated approach to the management of land, biodiversity, water and community resources at the water catchment scale;
• Involve communities in planning and managing their landscapes; and
• Find a balance between resource use and resource conservation

ICM is now well established in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. In Europe the ICM approach has been proposed as being required to achieve effective water and catchment management, and is the approach being promoted by DEFRA for the UK, where it is called the “Catchment Based Approach” (CaBA). The principles and methodologies behind ICM sit well within the context of the Water Framework Directive with its aims and objectives for good water quality, sustainable development and public participation in water resource management. In Ireland it is proposed that the ICM approach will underlie the work and philosophy in developing and implementing future River Basin Management Plans.

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2. Integrated Catchment Management - Vision

  1. 1. ICM Vision
  2. 2. Build Partnership Create an ICM Vision Characterise the Catchment Undertake further characterisation Identify & Evaluate Possible Management Strategies Design an Implementation Programme Implement the River Basin Management Plan Measure Progress and Make Adjustments Background and context • What is integrated catchment management? • Why now? • How does it fit?
  3. 3. What is Integrated Catchment Management? Integrated Catchment Management is a process that recognises a catchment as the appropriate organising unit for understanding and managing ecosystem processes… - in a context that includes social, economic and political considerations, and - guides communities towards an agreed vision of sustainable land and water resource management for their catchment Motueka River catchment, New Zealand
  4. 4. ICM differs from Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in that it isn’t just about water – although that may be one focus. It’s about how you manage all the ‘ecosystem services’ in a given area – a river catchment. The health of a river is a measure of the health of the surrounding landscape
  5. 5. Living working landscapes delivering all of the services required by society in the context of climate change and the desired level of food security….. and fit to pass on to future generations. Environmental Sustainability Meter Slide courtesy of the Westcountry Rivers Trust
  6. 6. Another definition ICM is a process through which people can develop a vision, agree on shared values and behaviours, make informed decisions and act together to manage the natural resources of their catchment. Their decisions on the use of land, water and other environmental resources are made by considering the effect of that use on all those resources and on all people within the catchment Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council, Australia
  7. 7. after Bowden 1999 ICM is an ‘emergent property’ of the integration of three strands of society
  8. 8. Why do we need to be more integrated? • The climate’s changing quickly with uncertain knock on effects and uneven impacts. • Populations are expanding – fast, along with expectations/demands • We’re running out of resources…. including water and food • Economies, markets… and environmental goods and services are now linked globally – changes happen quickly and through remote decisions Everything’s linked but we don’t know how the connections work
  9. 9. It’s always sensible to understand all the implications before you take action to address a problem
  10. 10. Do we need a different approach? The WFD is not “business as usual” – Risk-based (sets objectives not procedures) – All embracing (includes all waters and by inference involves land management) – Ecosystem-centred (Good Ecosystem Quality the ultimate target) – Sets geographical boundaries for management – natural not artificial, political ones – Participatory - mandatory participation by citizens, municipalities, NGOs etc in the development of River Basin Plans. – Hugely challenging!
  11. 11. So what happened in the 1st RBP round (in E&W)? • Largely business as usual • Regulators charged with implementing – too inflexible, top down, undemocratic, detached • Despite lots of data, huge gaps in knowledge and understanding • And a lack of serious intent to want to change
  12. 12. The Need – what ‘they’ said about the 1st round of River Basin Plans - (in England and…) - 1 • Lack of ambition – only 19% compliance (by length) expected by 2015 • Lack of clarity as to “how” to be achieved; especially the huge leap to 60%+ compliance by 2027. “The measures to achieve compliance in 2027 need to be in place now.” Plan is largely a statement of status quo • Non engagement of “people” – neither local nor general public • A lot of local work (by NGOs etc) not recognised in plans • Local authorities not engaged – “what’s in it for them”; no extra funding, no vision to engage them. “How will RBPs integrate with spatial planning?” • The need to be 95% certain of there being a problem before implementing a measure is simply not possible given lack of data in some places and therefore an excuse for inaction.
  13. 13. The Need – what ‘they’ said about the 1st round of River Basin Plans - (in England and…) - 2 • Key issues not addressed through concerns over cost dressed up as uncertainties about the evidence/science • Clear goals not identified, particularly for physical restoration; Plans should establish “catchment restoration funds” adequate for targeted pilot studies • “Non-use” benefits not taken into account well enough. • (Private) water companies concern over them being asked for most expenditure/effort – “the usual suspects”. Water consumer NGO concerns over rising costs to householders • Lack of data and information in plans makes it difficult to assess issues identified in relation to each other. “Have the right pressures been identified?” “Are the measures adequate?”.
  14. 14. 14 The Challenges • Water and river ecosystems have little identifiable “value” in our society; • We have lost the connectivity of people to their (environmental) surroundings - who knows where “their” catchment is and how they relate to or influence it? • We tend to work in top-down systems; • River Basin Plans are poorly connected to the land use planning system • Our river basins do not lend themselves to large scale joined-up planning - geographically and institutionally; • Science/research is not involved in “the process”
  15. 15. – not another new initiative but a way of achieving several objectives. Not only: WFD but other EU Directives – Habitats, Nitrates, Bathing Waters etc But also? Resource management; flood management; land use planning; biodiversity goals; landscape/environmental enhancement, etc. etc. Integrated Catchment Management
  16. 16. Pilot Catchments • 25 Pilot Catchments run during 2012 • 10 led by the Environment Agency; 15 by other organisations • 35 others applied • Aim – to produce a collaborative Catchment Plan
  17. 17. In 2014 - 80+ Catchment Partnerships in England in varying degrees of progress with developing a vision and a plan
  18. 18. 2009 Integration Engagement Justifying the action taken Overall Character Certainty RBD Consultation Confidence of outcome not supported by evidence available to Environment Agency WFD is seen as WQ Directive and delivers remediation, but little work across disciplines Disproportionate cost justification. Costly measures excluded from plans 2015 Catchment level information and some local steering linked to RBD Improved evidence base and investigations but not exploiting all evidence sources Growing integration but still formative and culture hampers progress Clear planning assumptions, local benefit values, proportionality at overall plan level Top down and local, with increasing focus on benefits 2021 Local engagement shapes choices and priorities and helps direct action Well founded and shared evidence, confidence of outcome – few exemptions Delivery of multiple benefits justifies joint projects & actions Benefits driven and transparent Largely bottom up and directed by delivery of benefits Largely top down and process focused and concerned primarily with GES
  19. 19. 2009 Integration Engagement Justifying the action taken Overall Character Certainty RBD Consultation Confidence of outcome not supported by evidence available to Environment Agency WFD is seen as WQ Directive and delivers remediation, but little work across disciplines Disproportionate cost justification. Costly measures excluded from plans 2015 Catchment level information and some local steering linked to RBD Improved evidence base and investigations but not exploiting all evidence sources Growing integration but still formative and culture hampers progress Clear planning assumptions, local benefit values, proportionality at overall plan level Top down and local, with increasing focus on benefits 2021 Local engagement shapes choices and priorities and helps direct action Well founded and shared evidence, confidence of outcome – few exemptions Delivery of multiple benefits justifies joint projects & actions Benefits driven and transparent Largely bottom up and directed by delivery of benefits Largely top down and process focused and concerned primarily with GES Local priorities shape what is done Shared aims, many actors contribute What is done reflects best benefits From top down to bottom up Shared analysis and evidence
  20. 20. Setting a Framework • Learning from others • Some principles • Who’s involved – the ‘actors’, governance • Steps in the process
  21. 21. Others have been there before and we can extract the basic principles
  22. 22. Basic Components of ICM • Delivers sustainable water quality improvements • Public participation – knowledge, priority setting and integration • Scientific/technical underpinning • Transparency and accountability • Co-operative Partnerships – integrating skills and objectives • Adequately resourced with equitable allocation of resources • Demonstrates cost effectiveness • Legitimate approach – top down support • Capacity to monitor and adapt – iterative process • Trusted brokers/intermediaries Adapted from Smith et al 2010…. and with thanks to Westcountry Rivers Trust
  23. 23. 23 Wider benefits of ICM • More holistic appreciation of land. • Integration of social and economic needs with natural ecosystems and the long term use of natural resources. • Clearer identification of roles and responsibilities for implementation. • Development of structures and mechanisms for co-ordination and cooperation. • Development of social commitment and cohesion. • Focus for attracting technical and financial resources allowing better utilization of local resources. • Provides a forum for local interests and can result in early identification of potential problems. • Provides a forum for feedback to Government. • Healthier catchments = healthy environment. • More robust communities Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia
  24. 24. • Holistic • Twin-track • Adaptive • Informed • Catchment based • Co-ordinated • Locally led • Trusted • Legitimate • Funded 10 Principles from the Rural Economy & Land Use (RELU) Programme : Developing a Catchment Management Template For the Protection of Water Resources: exploiting experience from the UK, eastern USA and nearby Europe
  25. 25. Learning from Others • Have to work at the catchment scale and below, but socio-economic issues considered at a larger scale; • Local knowledge and local community involvement is essential – invest in partnerships; • Stakeholders/decision-makers must use best available science • Models have an important role to play; • A shared conceptual understanding of the catchment is essential; • Water/water environment has to be valued by the stakeholding community; • “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” – data is important; • There has to be institutional support.
  26. 26. 26 Policy framework National/Regional/River Basin - strategic level Local/site, farm, water body - operational level Stakeholder activity Catchment/Landscape - translation and co-ordination level Institutional layer to: Translate policy, Fund, co-ordinate, synthesise and communicate, Link to spatial planning Surridge, Holt and Harris, Wiley 2010 Levels of governance, & associated roles, relevant to ICM
  27. 27. Adaptive - an iterative sequence that should be followed for any given place • Understand the issues • Build capacity to deal with the problems • Build collaboration between the stakeholders • Improve water quality/ hydromorphology • Improve the ecosystem goods and services • Monitor, check/verify • Go back to the start Maitland River Watershed, Ontario
  28. 28. Adaptive Management Framework, Queensland - ongoing knowledge acquisition, monitoring and evaluation leading to continuous improvement in the identification and implementation of management. - Recognition of the need for active research, critical role of monitoring/evaluation, effective communication of knowledge for policy/planning
  29. 29. • Build partnerships • Create and communicate a vision • Characterise the catchment • Further characterisation • Identify and evaluate possible management strategies • Design an implementation programme • Implement the RBD Plan • Measure progress and adjust
  30. 30. • Governance style - Polycentric, horizontal, broad stakeholder participation. • Integration across sectors - Cross-sectoral analysis identifies emergent problems and integrates policy implementation. • Information Management - Comprehensive understanding achieved by open, shared information sources that fill gaps and facilitate integration • Infrastructure – Appropriate scale, decentralized, diverse sources of design • Finances and Risk - Financial resources diversified using a broad set of private and public financial instruments What might adaptive water management look like?
  31. 31. Adaptive Management Cycle From Aspirations to Agreeing Actions. – What needs to be done? – Agreeing a vision with the right people/ right groups – Collective ownership necessary
  32. 32. Who needs to be in the catchment partnership? It depends which scale you’re working at
  33. 33. It is important to be aware of the scale we’re working at, for what purpose, and connect between them Each scale of working will have its own set of actors with a different vision and ownership of it
  34. 34. • Business & Industry • Regulators • Water Supply Company • Environmental NGOs • Local Authorities • Parish Councils • Regional Assembly • Universities and colleges • Schools The Actors – users, regulators & spenders • Regional Development Agency • Farming • Forestry • Rural business • Ports • Waterways • Consumers • People
  35. 35. Everyone has a part to play
  36. 36. What’s the vision? What do people want? • A vision has to be shared to be effective • Different people/groups have different objectives – different needs from the range of ecosystem services
  37. 37. Typical English catchment visions: • Healthy functioning rivers flowing through a balanced living landscape, cherished by all in the X Catchment” • The X Catchment is a place where people are working together to protect and improve the water environment for everyone. • Water is clean, plentiful and, sensitively managed, meeting the needs of all those that rely on its resource but enabling it to reach its full biological potential, supporting rich and diverse populations of fish, birds and other wildlife. The Catchment is a healthy, economically vibrant environment, creating a natural and attractive amenity for people to enjoy and improving social wellbeing for present and future generations.
  38. 38. Summary of the Steps 1. Build capacity/develop partnership 2. Agree Aspirations 3. Identify the Problems – WFD failures (+ issues raised by stakeholders) 4. List the Suspected Causes 5. Turn Data into Evidence 6. Agree the Main (most likely) Causes 7. Agree Actions 7. Get actions into business plans and implement them 8. Record the consequences of the implemented actions 9. Monitor, revise

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