Monday, July 11:

Dr. Philippe Quevauviller - Free University of Brussels (VUB), European Commission, Belgium -

alt textDr. Philippe Quevauviller studied geology at the University of Bordeaux (France), and specialised in oceanography (PhD in 1987) and environmental chemistry (PhD in 1991), obtaining the highest French University degree (HDR) in chemistry in 1999. He has been a researcher in chemical oceanography from 1983 to 1989 at the University of Bordeaux, then at the Portuguese Environment Ministry in Lisbon (Portugal), and at the Dutch Ministry for Public Works in The Hague. He started his career at the European Commission in 1989, firstly as a Scientific Officer at the Research General Directorate in the area of quality control of environmental analysis and pre-normative research, then as a Policy Officer at the Environment Directorate-General in 2002 where he has been responsible for the development and implementation of two EU directives linked to the Water Framework Directive. In October 2008, he went back to the Research General Directorate where he managed research projects on climate change impacts on water systems/resources and natural hazards. Since April 2013, he moved to the Secure Societies Programme (now at DG Home Affairs since early 2015) where he is responsible for programming and managing security research projects, in particular on disaster risk and crisis management (natural catastrophes, accidents, terrorist threats). He is author or co-author of ca. 240 articles published in the international peer-reviewed literature and 20 books (co-authored or –edited). Besides his work at the European Commission, he is also Associate Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Talk title: Interfacing Science and Policies for and Improved Risk Management of Hydrometeorological Extreme Events


Recent hydrometeorological extreme events have highlighted the increased exposure and vulnerability of societies and the need to strengthen the knowledge-base of related policies. In particular, research undertakings are constantly enhancing forecasting, prediction and early warning capabilities, as well as to develop adequate prevention, mitigation and preparedness measures. These concern events such as extreme winds, storm surges, coastal and estuarine floods, taking in consideration the effects of climate change, which are threats faced by many countries in the world. In this respect, international policies and research cooperation are in full development, leading to new knowledge, innovative, cost-effective, technological or non-technological solutions and ecosystem-based approaches, as well as new forms of organizational and institutional/governance. The talk will present key features of science and policy interactions in the area of (water) climate-related extreme events at EU level.

Tuesday, July 12:

Dr. Thorsten Kiefer - Global Hub Director, Paris -

alt textDr. Thorsten Kiefer is director of the Future Earth Global Hub in Paris. His main responsibilities are to co-manage activities on Synthesis & Foresight and on aspects of Capacity Building and Communication in Future Earth. Thorsten joined Future Earth after a decade as Executive Director of the Past Global Changes organisation PAGES, which is now under the umbrella of Future Earth. Thorsten’s research background is in ocean sciences. He earned his PhD in the field of paleoceanography in 1997 from the University of Kiel, Germany. He continued studying past oceanographic and climatic changes from deep-sea sediments as a researcher in Kiel and at the University of Cambridge, UK. With the move to the PAGES International Project Office in Switzerland in 2005 his professional scope expanded widely across the fields of climatic and environmental change and towards international science management. The move to Future Earth in 2015 further broadened his scope to managing sustainability research across all scientific disciplines at the interface to societal partners. In addition, he serves the open-access journal Climate of the Past as a co-chief editor

Talk title: Future Earth – Research for Global Sustainability is gaining momentum


Recent political developments of global scope, most evidently the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, have stressed the urgency for solution-oriented knowledge that supports our transformations to a sustainable world. The new international research coordination platform Future Earth aims to facilitate the generation of such knowledge. Apart from the focus on solutions, the strategy also includes broadening of the interdisciplinary range across natural and social sciences and the humanities and to involve stakeholders of sustainability research more centrally in co-designing the research plans and co-producing the output. The main vehicle for carrying out knowledge generation are Knowledge-Action Networks, eight of which are currently being launched on the topics food-water-energy nexus, natural assets, cities, health, oceans, finance and economy, transformations, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Wednesday, July 13:

Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan - Professor, Texas A&M university, USA -

alt textR. Srinivasan, Ph.D. is a professor at Texas A&M University and director of the Spatial Sciences Laboratory at Texas A&M. He has become known and respected throughout the world for his developmental work with spatial sciences and computer-based modeling, especially the Soil and Water Assessment Tool or SWAT model. His research and its applications have contributed to long-lasting changes in natural resource assessments and development of management system options, currently being used in more than 90 countries. Over the past nine years, he has conducted more than 60 international workshops for students and professionals in more than 20 countries and the demand is increasing each year.

Talk title: Blue and Green Water assessment at Country to Continenetal Scale and its impact due to Climate Change


Knowledge of freshwater availability is indispensable for water resources management at regional or national level. This information, however, has historically been very difficult to obtain because of lack of data, observation in spatial and temporal scales, difficulties in the aggregation of spatial information, and problems in the quantification of distributed hydrological processes. The currently available estimates of freshwater availability by a few large international organizations such as FAO and UNESCO are often not sufficient as they only provide aggregated rough quantities of river discharge and groundwater recharge (blue water) at a national level and on a yearly basis. This presentation provides example of how blue and green water can be assessed in a reliable way at both spatial and temporal scales using a semi-distributed hydrological model called SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool). Several case studies will be presented from watershed, to country to continental scales along with projection of the blue water availability under climate change projections. The information generated in these studies are indispensable for making crucial decisions on integrated water management decisions and planning within a country of how the water resources are allocated for various sectors such as energy, food (agriculture) and water and the nexus between them. But more importantly these information are vital and need to be available in a public domain across the countries where the water is shared by major river basins that cut across various countries especially where tension exist across the border already for many reasons. For regional and national stability water needs to have its fair share across all the regions with fundamental rights to have access to good quality water as part of the ecosystem services that every government need to provide to their citizens.