Press release

Climate change requires innovation and a sharper focus on integrated water and land management in Manitoba: IISD

January 12, 2010
WINNIPEG—January 13, 2010—Successfully adapting to climate change will require technological and governance innovation to more tightly integrate water and land management issues, according to a report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, released today.

Climate change threatens to increase the magnitude and frequency of major weather events and exacerbate the intensity of droughts and floods. Lake Winnipeg is particularly vulnerable—already facing a multitude of environmental challenges.

The Manitoba Challenge: Integrated Water and Land Management for Climate Adaptation, a study by IISD's Water Innovation Centre (WIC) presents the case for technological and institutional innovation for effective ecological watershed management, which looks not just at water issues, but at land issues as well.

"It is critical that water and land issues are managed together," said report author and WIC director, Henry David (Hank) Venema. "By integrating water and land management we can greatly improve the conservation of water resources, and improve the management and health of Lake Winnipeg at the same time."

Key elements of this innovation agenda include governance reform at the water-land interface, re-purposing existing resources, and designing new economic instruments to support watershed management—including ecological goods and services programs in the agricultural sector.

The report is being released today as part of Manitoba's initiative to collaborate and share information with water experts at the second Manitoba - Israel Water Experts Symposium this week, led by Manitoba Water Stewardship Minister the Honourable Christine Melnick, where Venema is presenting the recent work of the Institute on climate change adaptation.

"Climate change risks aren't unique to the Prairies or Lake Winnipeg. This partnership offers all participants an opportunity to exchange ideas, lessons learned and best practices with other jurisdictions," said Melnick.


For more information, please contact Henry David (Hank) Venema Phone: +1-(204)-899-0104 or IISD media and communication officer, Nona Pelletier Phone: +1-(204)-958-7740, Cell: +1-(204)-962-1303.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.