GNF - 15th Living Lakes Conference 2019

Results of the 15th International Living Lakes Conference

"A world without wetlands is a world without water"


About 200 lake conservationists, political decision-makers and company representatives from over 40 countries discussed current challenges and solutions for the protection of lakes and wetlands during the 15th International Living Lakes Conference from 7th to 9th May in Valencia. The 15th Living Lakes Conference focused on the restoration and management of lakes and wetlands and on increasing their resilience to the effects of climate change. The conference also marked the 20th anniversary of the Living Lakes Network. Representatives of numerous lakes of the network took part in the conference and gave valuable insights into their work on site.

Date: 7 - 9 May 2019
Location: Complex Esportiu-Cultural Petxina, València
Conference Languages: English, Spanish
Motto: "A world without wetlands is a world without water"
Conference Programme: Programme of the 15th Living Lakes Conference
 Group photo in front of the venue in Valencia
 The interesting and varied programme was followed attentively by the participants.
 Wetlands and their ecological importance were the focus of the event.

Shortly before the start of the conference the first excerpt of the "Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" of the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES) appeared. The report warns of the dramatic and life-threatening decline in biodiversity and ecosystems. According to the report, inland waters and freshwater ecosystems are most severely affected. "The summary of the IPBES report now published makes it clear that the situation is even more dramatic than previously assumed. We have all the information and know the solutions. We can no longer afford a ´business as usual´ or a policy of small steps – we must make progress quickly! The Living Lakes network partners have been working to protect lakes for 20 years, but we need the support of business, agriculture, communities and politics," says Marion Hammerl, President of the Global Nature Fund.


At the conference, numerous companies such as Nestlé, Sika, Kärcher, Sekisui and Global Omnium presented their activities, answered critical questions and underlined their interest in dialogue and partnerships with NGOs. The Spanish NGO Fundación Global Nature and the Global Nature Fund hosted the conference in Valencia.

 Intact ecosystems are a prerequisite for preserving biodiversity.
 When it comes to nature conservation and environmental protection, everyone is in the same boat: NGOs, business, science, politics and society.

New Goals for the Living Lakes Network

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, the members of the Living Lakes Network took the opportunity to agree on an action plan for the next five years at the conference. More than 280 goals set by the partners for the period between 2019 and 2025 show the manifold knowledge and the willingness of the partners to contribute to the solution of the burning problems. In the new publication "Living Lakes Achievements and Goals 2019 – 2025" the members look back on the last six years of successful lake and wetland conservation and set new goals for the future.

Manifest for the Conservation and Restoration of the Mediterranean Wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula

On one conference day, the participants could visit the Natural Park l'Albufera with the Albufera Lake near Valencia. The water body suffers from water pollution caused by agricultural discharges and settlement along the borders of the Natural Park. In this context, the members of the Living Lakes Network have expressed their deep concern about the deterioration of wetlands in the host country Spain. In a manifesto adopted, they call on the competent authorities to take concrete measures to restore and protect these wetlands.


Manifesto for the conservation and restoration of the Mediterranean wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula

Best Conservation Practice Award

Two winners of the Best Conservation Practice Award were honoured for outstanding achievements in nature conservation and lake conservation. Jordi Sargatal Vicens, President of the Association of Friends of the Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l'Empordà (APNAE), and the Municipality of Torreblanca were honoured for their commitment.

Some presentations of the conference in English and partly in Spanish will be available soon!

 The international Living Lakes Network has been in existence for 20 years now.
 The brochure "Living Lakes - Goals 2019 - 2025" in English.
 The common field trip led to the Nature Park l´Albufera near Valencia.
 The winners of the Best Conservation Practice Award together with Marion Hammerl, President of GNF.