Growing pressure on water ecosystems – strong partnership to protect lakes and wetlands

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Growing pressure on water ecosystems – strong partnership to protect lakes and wetlands

From 7 to 9 May 2019, 200 delegates from over 40 countries will discuss current challenges and solutions for the protection of lakes and wetlands at the 15th International Living Lakes Conference in Valencia, Spain. They call for stronger economic and political measures to protect these unique ecosystems – also in the fight against climate change.

Radolfzell, 6 May 2019: Lakes and wetlands provide water and food for millions of people, provide livelihoods, habitats for impressive biodiversity and store more carbon than many other ecosystems. Especially with regard to climate protection, the protection of lakes and wetlands is becoming increasingly important. Their economic value is estimated at around USD 70 billion annually. Nevertheless, since 1990 more than half of the world's lakes have disappeared or been severely degraded, and their immense value is still largely ignored by politicians and decision-makers. In Germany alone, over 50 percent of water bodies are in poor ecological condition. In the year of the 20th anniversary of the "Living Lakes" network, the challenges are greater than ever.

From 7 to 9 May 2019, around 200 lake conservationists, political decision-makers and company representatives from over 40 countries will meet in Valencia. Among others Francisco Rilla from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and Bernd Neukirchen from the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in Germany will give insights into achievements and challenges in lake protection. The conference is dedicated to the partnership of the 140 members of the Living Lakes Network, who currently represent 111 lakes. "With the conference in Valencia we celebrate 20 years of Living Lakes. This means 20 years of tireless efforts by many organisations and volunteers around the world to protect our valuable and unique lakes and wetlands. The Living Lakes Conference is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and launch joint projects," says Marion Hammerl, President of the Global Nature Fund.

States and environmental organisations cannot solve the many environmental problems on their own. Companies also have a great responsibility to manage scarce resources and protect our ecosystems. At the Living Lakes Conference, companies such as Kärcher, Sika, Nestlé and Sekisui will discuss corporate responsibility in protecting these ecosystems and in dealing with the precious resource of water. "For 20 years, we have been seeking dialogue with companies, making demands and wanting to support in order to renature and protect lakes and wetlands together and to promote sustainable use," continues Hammerl.

The conference will be hosted by the Spanish organisation Fundación Global Nature and the Global Nature Fund (GNF). The Living Lakes network was established in 1998 by the GNF, an environmental foundation based on Lake Constance. Living Lakes is now a global network for the protection of lakes, wetlands and freshwater reserves. In the last 20 years the network has grown to 111 lakes and 140 members.

Programme and further information:

Global Nature Fund and the Living Lakes Network
The Global Nature Fund (GNF) is an independent foundation for environmental protection and nature conservation. The GNF was founded in 1998 and has offices in Radolfzell, Bonn and Berlin. One of GNF's central initiatives is the Living Lakes Network – a global network of organisations dedicated to the protection of lakes and wetlands. The network currently comprises 111 lakes around the world.

Fundación Global Nature
The Spanish organisation Fundación Global Nature was founded in 1993 with the aim of promoting the conservation of habitats and species as well as sustainable development in the private sector. In the past, the renaturation and sustainable management of wetlands was one of the main tasks of the foundation.

Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Julia Gossenberger
Phone: (+49) 228-1848694-13