Transitioning towards a circular economy is a complex subject that requires listening to many different voices, interests and priorities for it to be fully embraced. The EU-funded project ZERO BRINE is organising 2 interactive workshops, “Creating Acceptance for Circularity”, to discuss the effects of circularity on business and society.
The Workshops will be held on September 22-29 from 15:00 to 16:30; organised by TU Delft, they will focus on three key drivers of social acceptance for circular economy initiatives:
– Technological infrastructure
– Sustainability impact
– Supporting business model.
Register here to attend the workshops.Read More
The IUCN World Conservation Congress closed in Marseille, on Friday 11, setting the future agenda for the nature’s conservation. The World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most inclusive environmental decision-making forum. The event held on Sept. 3-11, brought over 1,500 Members who debated and voted on 39 Motions, to approve the next IUCN programme for 2021-2024 – Nature 2030: Union in Action.
This year, the Congress’s strong focus was on the post-COVID recovery, the biodiversity and climate crises, and on the role and rights of indigenous peoples in conservation. The world is increasingly recognising the inextricable link between biodiversity conservation and human and economic wellbeing, a connection made all the more visible by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IUCN Congress will be a key milestone for nature conservation and the development of a new global framework for biodiversity. The objective is to “drive action on nature-based recovery, on climate change and biodiversity for decades to come,” said van Ham. She said policymakers “are not at the same level of awareness” and don’t yet feel as much urgency to act on biodiversity as they do on climate change.
The French government and IUCN remain steadfast in their commitment to these goals. President Emmanuel Macron opened the congress with the vision of “putting nature at the top of the international agenda, because our destinies are intrinsically linked, the planet, the climate, nature and human communities.”
Find out more about the conference here.
The European Environment Agency has recently published the 2021 Ecological status of surface water in Europe, which assess the status quality of surface in rivers, lakes, coastal and transitional waters. Achieving good ecological status for surface waters is critical to this.
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) (EU, 2000) stipulates that EU Member States should aim to achieve good status for all surface water and groundwater bodies (EEA, 2018a, 2019). According to countries’ second river basin management plans, good ecological status had been achieved for around 40% of surface waters (rivers, lakes and transitional and coastal waters) by 2015.
However, these plans show only limited improvement in ecological status since the first plans were published in 2009, with ecological status remaining similar for most water bodies.
Surface waters are important habitats. They are key for supporting society and the economy throughout Europe and clean, unpolluted waters are essential for healthy ecosystems. However, surface waters have traditionally been used as disposal routes for human, agricultural and industrial wastes, damaging water quality. They have also been altered (by building dams and canals, etc.) to facilitate agriculture and urbanisation, produce energy and protect against flooding, all of which can change and degrade habitats.
The indicator assessment illustrates that, to improve and restore nearly 60% of surface waters in the EU, and meet WFD objectives, we need full implementation of management and mitigation measures under the WFD, in combination with full implementation of measures under other relevant directives.Read More
The Slovak EUSDR Presidency will host a conference to boost innovation and digitization in the Danube Region
On 22 September, the Slovak EUSDR Presidency is organizing the Thematic Conference on Innovation & Digitization event on innovation & digitization will touch upon the questions of how to boost innovation and digitization in the Danube Region, regional aspects of SME digitization and funding for innovation & digitization.
Innovations and digitization are one of the thematic priorities under the Slovak Presidency in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). This topic is following the concept of the European Union of green and digital transition which should finally lead to climate neutrality.
Innovations and digitization affect all aspects of life in the Danube Region, therefore they should be mirrored in all priority areas. This topic is highly cross-sectoral and creates a significant space for cooperation within the EUSDR.
The event will be organised in hybrid form – online and personal participation. During registration, the participant can choose the form of participation (online/personal). Check the full agenda to learn more. If you want to attend the event you can fill the registration form here.
The European Commission announced the date of the 2021 Farm to Fork Conference that will take place on October 14 and 15. This year the conference will “focus on the progress made” so far on the strategy’s initiatives and on the “enablers” to make the food system more sustainable.
The Conference is structured as a hybrid meeting with the majority of the audience joining virtually. It will focus on the progress made on the initiatives foreseen in the strategy’s action plan, support the EU efforts to achieve a global transition to sustainable food systems and put emphasis on transition enablers.
More information will become available in due course.Read More
Last week, the new NEXOGENESIS project financed by the European Commission has officially begun, and Water Europe is happy to contribute. Over the next 4 years, the project aims at supporting the development of policies that manages resources effectively. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among tools to be used to assess the water-energy-food-ecosystem (WEFE) nexus in the new project coordinated by IHE Delft.
Water, energy, food and ecosystems form an interconnected nexus that is central in providing resources and services needed to sustain human activity. The nexus is affected by changes in climate, precipitation and land cover as well as economic development, agriculture and urban growth. Currently, humans are extracting resources at a faster rate than they are replaced, thereby deepening resource and ecological deficits.
Through the four-year NEXOGENESIS project, which started 1 September 2021, IHE Delft and 20 partners will support the development of policies that address the nexus interconnectedness at several levels to manage resources effectively and avoid conflicts between users.Read More
The ICPDR Secretariat is seeking a candidate for the position of Executive Secretary, a leading role within the organisation.
The Executive Secretary has the overall task of planning and implementing work programmes and decisions of the Commission, and is thus both an administrator and professional responsible for coordination of the Permanent Secretariat located in the VIC United Nations building in Vienna. The Executive Secretary is also directly responsible for Secretariat staff management and budgetary functions, and – together with the incumbent President – represents the ICPDR on the international stage.
The initial period of employment is three years, with an optional three-year extension upon satisfactory performance. Remuneration is in accordance with current Austrian civil servant salary levels. The ideal candidate should have 8-10 years’ experience in a senior management position in a national/international organisation or academia related to the field of water and/or environmental management.
The ICPDR is proud to support applications of people under-represented in international management positions.
Deadline for application: 12 October 2021 at 18:00 CET
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Start of the contract is 1 August 2022, click here to apply.
Applications should include a motivation letter and a CV and should be sent by e-mail to: email@example.comRead More
On September 8 and 9, CINEA organised a Question & Answer session for applicants on the recently published LIFE 2021 Call for proposals. This virtual event is an opportunity for potential applicants to raise questions on the programme. It’s highly suggested to watch these dedicated information sessions prior to the Q&A session to better prepare you question in advance.
You can raise questions or “like” questions via Sli.do directly to the LIFE team. Questions can be submitted live on-line but also ahead of the session (from the 7th of September onwards). If you want to know more, check the full agenda of the event.Read More
In the context of the validation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) by the EU Member States and the initiation of their implementation, Water Europe is now releasing a living position paper on the place of water in the NRRPs and the opportunity to invest in water in order to ensure security and prosperity for the EU Member States.
Water Innovation Europe 2021 closed its successful edition on June 18, engaging over 6.700 online viewers across its five-day programme held under the theme “EU Water-Smart Society for global leadership.” Each day of the event brought together water experts from businesses, industries and governments with the objective to discuss and unfold water opportunities while exploring strategies to upscale the EU Water-Smart Society on a global level. Our five keynote speakers of the event stressed out the role of the innovative water community to develop a green and digital water sector. What were their key messages? Let’s recap.
From the European perspective, Virginijus Sinkevičius, the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, revealed to us how the European Commission is working on several water-related actions under the EU Green Deal and digitalisation of Europe. These key actions underlie our international effort to: achieve an EU Water-Smart Society while helping to reduce emissions of planet-warming greenhouse, as stated in the Paris agreement. Inês dos Santos Costa, the Secretary of State for the Environment, affirmed in her speech that “To achieve the Paris agreement objective, we must reduce the abstraction and consumption of raw material and energy; reconsider our development model with welfare and prosperity for all within the limits of our planets. We need a fair, decarbonised and circular model. It depends on how we value of resource such as water.”
The event featured 5 sessions and 10 side events, enabling participants to have a comprehensive and multi-sectorial conversation about future water opportunities (digitalization, collaboration, data sharing) and existing challenges investment, youth participation, integrated systems). As the President of the Global Water Council, Mr. Fauchon, said “Water knows no borders and we need to mobilise at all levels for managing water smartly. Governance, finance and innovation are key to tackle global water challenges.”
Collaboration is one of the vehicles to equalize water innovations across the EU. New technologies should be shared and commonly used by bringing people together, sharing information, and adopting new solutions.
How can we boost water innovations, starting from a local level? What we learnt at WIE2021 is that small municipalities can make the difference. For this reason, two Mayors, Vahap Seçer and Alexander Vandersmissen representing the cities of Mersin and Mechelen, respectively took the floor to demonstrate their local contribution during the event. Vahap Seçer and Alexander Vandersmissen, didn’t only share their common concerns around the climate issues but they also inspired us with their ambitious actions.
All the speakers of the event unanimously highlighted that we cannot limit innovation to technology, we must also consider finance and governance. We need political will to turn water issues into global and local political priorities.
Did you miss any Water Innovation Europe 2021 session? Find them all hereRead More