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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Project • CBA2018-10SY-Nair

The health and restoration of economically and culturally important rivers of India using biological indicators found in Kerala streams, within the context of climate change impacts and sustainable development

Monitoring rivers using bioindicators provide the most integrative view of river health. With increasing industrialization, population growth, land use changes and developmental challenges, the natural ability of rivers to provide goods and services have been severely curtailed. This proposal is designed to train a cohort of Indian stakeholders – policy makers, scientists and practitioners – using aquatic and benthic macroinvertebrates, algae, diatoms and macrophytes. A 3-day use-inspired theory and 2-day solution oriented river expedition are prime features of the training. The hands-on activities will include transect studies of a major Kerala river, Pampa, starting from its hilly watershed, populated mid-plains and the lower Kuttanad and the Vembanad lake in the backwaters of the Arabian sea. Along with the anthropogenic pressures, climate change related sea level rise also aggravate the lake situation. This lake system is one of India’s most unique Ramsar sites lying 0.6 to 2.2 meters below sea level, and is Kerala’s famed ‘rice bowl’. The participants will be trained by scientists from India, New Zealand and U.S.A. The sustainability of the activities will be followed-up by ERRC faculty through technical support and by linking participants to India’s Long-Term Ecological Observatory (I-LTEO) program launched at the ‘Paris Climate Conference 2015’to monitor eco-sensitive and bio-diverse sites, aimed at promoting national sustainable development.