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The importance of landscape planning in sustainable freshwater management


Tibor Erős, the director of the ELKH Balaton Limnological Research Institute (BLKI), and the leader of the Fish and Conservation Ecology Research Group, has published an internationally co-authored study on the importance of landscape planning in one of the world's most prestigious water science journals, WIREs Water.

The authors of the study argue that in order to protect freshwater biodiversity and ensure ecosystem services, there is a need for landscape planning at both global and local scale, rooted in optimization strategies. They emphasize the importance of being more precise in defining the purpose and management methods of each body of water when formulating catchment management plans. They recommend designating areas to be preserved or restored for the maintenance of biological diversity separately and across borders for each biogeographic and ecological region. They believe that achieving this objective requires coordinated government efforts at a global and continental scale, accompanied by clear and firm action plans.

The researchers highlight that the role of regional and local grassroot conservation organizations is crucial in preserving the natural values of individual water bodies and maintaining biological diversity. Often, it is the dedicated work of these organizations that ensures the protection of conservation values. However, these activities are often uncoordinated, making it difficult to measure their effectiveness at an ecological scale, and it is far from certain whether they are sufficient in the long term to achieve sustainability goals that prioritize biodiversity preservation, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity of 2019.