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Professional Short Courses


COURSE INFO PROVIDER: SWSPCP Webinar
COURSE TITLE: Wetlands in a Changing Climate: Science, Policy and Management

INSTRUCTORS Max Finlayson
William R. Moomaw

COURSE DESCRIPTION Wetlands in a Changing Climate: Science, Policy and Management
Max Finlayson and Bill Moomaw

ABSTRACT
On October 8, 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a special report for policy and decision makers. They concluded that to avoid exceeding the 1.5o C limit set in the Paris Climate Agreement, the world must reduce net carbon dioxide emissions 45% by 2030 and not exceed removal rates by natural systems by 2050. While addressing the role of forests in meeting this goal, it failed to address the wetland policy and management opportunities that could also contribute to reducing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. The report also did not note that peatlands and vegetated coastal wetlands are among the most carbon rich sinks on the planet, sequestering approximately as much carbon as do global forest ecosystems. We recently summarized the current and potential climate role of wetlands in a recent paper and an article. Freshwater wetlands and those underlain by permafrost store additional large carbon stocks and provide climate resiliency for ecosystems and society. The current stock of wetland carbon has accumulated over centuries to millennia, but it is being released as these ecosystems are drained, thawed, or disturbed in a matter of months or years. The recent rise in temperature has increased soil respiration rates and thawed permafrost to release additional carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. The time-asymmetry between accumulation and release of heat trapping greenhouse gases makes it essential to protect existing wetland ecosystems and to restore degraded wetlands in an appropriate manner that enhances carbon storage and minimizes methane emissions – an opportunity seldom considered as a climate solution. We will explore the policy and management realms across international, national, subnational and local levels to identify strategies and policies reflecting an integrated understanding of both wetland and climate change science. Specific recommendations will be made to capture synergies between wetlands and carbon cycle management for climate mitigation, adaptation and resiliency and to further enable researchers, policy makers and practitioners to better protect wetland carbon and support climate adaptation and resiliency ecosystem services. The role of organizations such as Society of Wetland Scientists in furthering these goals will also be discussed.

MOOMAW BIO
William Moomaw is Emeritus Professor of International Environmental Policy and Founding Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at The Fletcher School. He currently serves as Co-Director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts, which he co-founded. He received his BA degree in chemistry from Williams College and PhD in physical chemistry from MIT. He had a 26-year career in chemistry and environmental studies at Williams College, where he directed the Center for Environmental Studies. He served as AAAS Science Fellow in the US Senate, where he worked on legislation that successfully addressed ozone depletion, and on legislation responding to the 1973 energy crisis. He began working on climate change in 1988 as the first director of the climate program at World Resources Institute in Washington. He has been a lead author of five Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its climate work in 2007. He is currently working on natural solutions to climate change with a focus on increasing carbon dioxide removal and storage rates by forests, wetlands and soils to compliment emission reductions from land use changes and fossil fuels.
He chairs the board of directors of two climate science and policy organizations, The Climate Group North America and Woods Hole Research Center. He also serves on the boards of directors of The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts, the Consensus Building Institute, Earthwatch Institute, and on the National Advisory Boards of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Young Voices for the Planet.
He and his wife, Margot, completed a zero net energy home in Williamstown MA in 2007 that produces sufficient solar electricity to meet all of its heating, lighting and appliance requirements while exporting surplus power to the grid. They have recently added more solar panels for a battery powered electric vehicle.

FINLAYSON BIO
Prof Max Finlayson is a wetland ecologist with extensive experience nationally and internationally in the science and management responses to water pollution, mining and agricultural impacts, invasive species, climate change, and human well-being and wetlands. He has participated in global assessments such as those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Global Environment Outlook, and Water Management in Agriculture, and since the early 1990s he has been a technical adviser to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. He has been actively involved in environmental NGOs and science organizations and has worked with government, community-based organizations and industry to investigate the causes of ecosystem change and management responses, including restoration and the participation of local communities. Underlying these activities is a concerted effort to improve the collection of evidence for addressing complex ecological issues and providing guidance to managers and policy makers recognizing that social, economic and ecological issues are inter-dependent and operate across multiple scales, particularly when dealing with regional sustainable development.
Professor Finlayson has worked extensively on the inventory, assessment and monitoring of wetlands, in particular in wet tropical, wet-dry tropical and sub-tropical climatic regimes covering pollution, invasive species and climate change. His current research interests/projects including the following: Interactions between human well-being and wetland health in the face of anthropogenic change, including global change and the onset of the Anthropocenic era; Vulnerability and adaptation of wetlands/rivers to climate change, including changing values and trade-offs between uses and users, considering uncertainty and complexity; Integration of ecologic, economic and social requirements and trade-offs between users of wetlands with an emphasis on developing policy guidance and institutional changes; and Landscape change involving wetlands/rivers and land use (agriculture and mining) and implications for wetland ecosystem services and benefits for local people.
Positions he holds include: Technical Advisory Panel, Wetland Education and Training program, Sydney Olympic Park Authority; Scientific Committee, International Lake Environment Committee; Visiting Professor, Institute for Wetland Research, China Academy of Forestry, China; Member of the Ecological Committee of the China Science Writers Association; and Editor-in-Chief, Marine and Freshwater Research, CSIRO Publishing
Professor Finlayson has contributed to over 400 journal articles, reports, guidelines, proceedings and book chapters on wetland ecology and management. He has contributed to the development of concepts and methods for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring, and undertaken many site-based assessments in many countries.

Credit Points: 0.06

SYLLABUS/TOPICAL OUTLINE The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a 2018 special report, did not address wetland policy and management opportunities that could contribute to reducing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide; neither was it noted that peatlands and vegetated coastal wetlands sequester approximately as much carbon as global forest ecosystems. Max Finlayson and William Moomaw identify strategies and policies reflecting an integrated understanding of both wetland and climate change science. Specific recommendations will be made to capture synergies between wetlands and carbon cycle management for climate mitigation, adaptation and resiliency and to further enable researchers, policy makers and practitioners to better protect wetland carbon and support climate adaptation and resiliency ecosystem services.

COURSE CONTACT
Louis Mantini
9225 CR 49, Live Oak, FL 32060
lfm@srwmd.org
P: 386.647.3144
F:

 

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Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program
Last Updated 10/1/20