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Study says Coral Triangle must secure food for the future

Biodiversity loss and food insecurity are two of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. The Asia-Pacific's Coral Triangle is defined by its extremely high marine biodiversity, with over one hundred million people living in its coastal zones who use this biodiversity to support their livelihoods.

Researchers say allocation of freshwater is major societal challenge

How and where we allocate freshwater in an environment of increasing demand, and declining quality and availability is a major societal challenge. The needs of local communities that are affected by dam construction and water abstraction are often similar to that of biodiversity. Yet, they are frequently superseded by the necessity to meet national demands for power, food and increasingly, mitigation of the hydrological effects of climate change.
 

Fish biodiversity research in the Mekong Basin

The Mekong River is one of the great rivers of the world and is characterized by high fish biodiversity. A number of organizations are working at observing and protecting aquatic biodiversity in this hotspot of global importance. Among them are international organizations such as the WWF, Wetlands International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) but also regional institutions and national line agencies or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). We review in this chapter the activities of five international, regional, and national organizations involved in Mekong fish biodiversity research. These organizations include WorldFish, Conservation International (CI), The Mekong River Commission (MRC), Ubon Ratchathani University, and the Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES). For each institution, we detail recent projects, modes of operation, issues faced, and priorities for improved observation and protection of biodiversity.

WorldFish Releases Comprehensive Briefing Note Revealing Shocking Information on Drying of Chilwa Lake in Malawi

Penang, Malaysia (23 July 2012).
 
WorldFish, an international, non-profit research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture, have just come up with a detailed report discussing evidences of drying of Lake Chilwa in Malawi. The briefing note has been released as a result of the Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Program implemented by WorldFish and its program partners including Forestry Research Institute of Malawi, Leadership for Environment and Development-Southern and Eastern Africa/University of Malawi.

Food security and the Coral Triangle Initiative

Foale, S. ; Adhuri, D. ; Aliño, P. ; Allison, E.H. ; Andrew, N. ; Cohen, P. ; Evans, L. ; Fabinyi, M. ; Fidelman, P. ; Gregory, C. ; Stacey, N. ; Tanzer, J. ; Weeratunge, N.
 

Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: status, trends, pressures and conservation priorities

Freshwater in the form of rivers, lakes, groundwater and wetlands offers us a remarkably diverse array of natural functions and ecosystem services. However, there is clear and growing scientific evidence that we are on the verge of a major freshwater biodiversity crisis: in the 30 years between 1970 and 2000, populations of more than 300 freshwater species have declined by ~55 percent while those of terrestrial and marine systems each declined by ~32 percent.

Trading-off fish biodiversity, food security, and hydropower in the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong River Basin, site of the biggest inland fishery in the world, is undergoing massive hydropower development. Planned dams will block critical fish migration routes between the river's downstream floodplains and upstream tributaries. Here we estimate fish biomass and biodiversity losses in numerous damming scenarios using a simple ecological model of fish migration. Our framework allows detailing trade-offs between dam locations, power production, and impacts on fish resources. We find that the completion of 78 dams on tributaries, which have not previously been subject to strategic analysis, would have catastrophic impacts on fish productivity and biodiversity. Our results argue for reassessment of several dams planned, and call for a new regional agreement on tributary development of the Mekong River Basin.

Tonle Sap Lake Fisheries

Fish diversity in the Mekong River Basin is surpassed only by that of the Amazon River. A key element of the Mekong River Basin is the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. The lake derives 62% of its water from the Mekong River and is the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Covering an area of 250,000-300,000 hectares during the dry season, it increases to between three and four times this size during the wet season. In 1997, the lake was nominated as a ‘Biosphere Reserve’ under UNESCO’s ‘Man and the Biosphere Program’, which aims to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.

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