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1) Urban ecosystems and biodiversity and their vulnerability to climate change

Urban ecosystems have an important function as habitat corridors for flora and fauna and are extremely vulnerable due to various economic factors, climate change and natural factors. Some of the impacts can be loss of species and microbes, changes in species composition, reduction in resilience to pests, increase in invasive alien species, changes in species composition, degradation of urban water bodies , increase in floods, heat waves etc impacting the health, economy and welfare of urban dwellers. The symposium looks for papers on the vulnerabilities and their impacts on human well-being and ecology.

2) Role of Urban biodiversity and ecosystems in mitigating climate change

Urban biodiversity plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change. Urban green cover has a significant potential to absorb carbon dioxide, regulate air quality, improve the microclimate, reduce the heat etc. Management of these green spaces significantly improves the quality of urban life. Some local authorities in different parts of the world have adopted good management practices like encouraging green vegetation, designing urban development plans with minimum impact on biodiversity, zoning, developing green infrastructure etc. The session seeks to explore how the local bodies or local governments can manage their urban ecosystems so as to mitigate climate change

3) Tools and Indicators for measuring urban sustainability

Cities which succeed in promoting growth without compromising the quality of environment and socio-cultural environmental are deemed sustainable. We need indicators to measure whether we are moving towards it and also to provide information to policy. Some descriptive indicators, performance indicators and thematic indicators already exist. Some examples of indicators relevant to biodiversity include global climate indicator, environmental quality indicators, city biodiversity index, ecological foot prints, carbon footprints, green public space and heritage indicators etc. We look for papers on indicators and tools applied in the context of urban biodiversity

4) Role of Green Infrastructure and design

Green infrastructure and green design has ample potential to conserve biodiversity in an urban setting and offers possibilities to combat and adapt to climate change. We call for papers which explore how green infrastructure and design can generate win-win scenarios.

5) Role of Innovative financial mechanisms in biodiversity conservation/climate change mitigation/adaptation

The session would look into the scope, potential benefits and constraints for  innovative financial mechanisms like the payment for ecosystem services, REDD plus mechanisms, biodiversity offsets, green infrastructure bonds, environmental fiscal reforms, green budgets, eco-budgets, certification and labeling, business biodiversity partnerships etc that can help raise finances to achieve the targets in the context of urban biodiversity and climate change.

 

6) Links between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services

This symposium would showcase  the links between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services and key messages on on the conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources to decision-makers.The session would also invite discussion of how to use this linkages for various agendas and policies We also accept submissions relating to various issues with urban biodiversity.

7) Rural Urban Nexus

Rural urban nexus has been deeprooted in economies but the necessary support services that rural areas provide to the urban areas has not been much focussed. The traditional equilibrium is changing and conflicts are increasing such as commercial, food and energy crops, agriculture vs residential lands, genetically modified crops vs traditional crops etc. These would be further exacerbated by changing climate, loss in biodiversity a thereby increasing vulnerability of urban and rural people.

In this context the symposium would focus on the interdependencies between the rural and urban regions. what are current urban and rural processes that leads to this interdependence? how vulnerable they are due to this changing equilibrium and what are the adaptation strategies to address these?

 

We also accept papers in other related themes of the conference

 


Copyright URBIO 2012, IIT Bombay