NCEAS Convenes First SNAP Working Group – Western Amazonia

Official launch of Science for Nature and People (SNAP) at Clinton Global Initiative

The first Working Group of Science for Nature and People (SNAP) takes place this week at NCEAS. “We welcome the working group participants for Western Amazonia: Balancing infrastructure Development and Conservation of Waters, Wetlands, and Fisheries, which includes international experts from Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research, National University of the Peruvian Amazon, the United Nations Development Program, the MacArthur Foundation, and the founding partners – NCEAS, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society,” said Frank Davis NCEAS director and a member of SNAP’s governing board.

The SNAP official launch announcement is being made at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) underway in New York City. CGI's 2013 theme, “Mobilizing for Impact,” explores ways that its members and member organizations can be more effective in leveraging individuals, partner organizations, and key resources in their commitment efforts. SNAP is a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at finding practical, knowledge-based ways in which the conservation of nature can help provide food, water, energy, and security to Earth's fast-growing population. Check out the new SNAP website.

SNAP’s First Two Projects underway:

Western Amazonia: Balancing infrastructure Development and Conservation of Waters, Wetlands, and Fisheries

The Amazon Basin is the largest river system in the world, and the Western Amazon contains the largest areas of flooded forests, and wetlands in the basin — areas critical to food provision and drinking water for tens of millions of people as well as to a fisheries industry. Large-scale infrastructure development, including hydroelectric dams, roads, and pipelines, is already impacting the Western Amazon, and more installations are planned. SNAP will consider a science-based road map for integrated river basin development that balances ecosystem health and connectivity, food security and infrastructure needs, and how best to translate that map for timely action by decision-makers.

Integrating Natural Defenses into Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction

The recent tsunami in Japan showed how even monumental built capital (levees, sea walls and artificial barrier islands) can be overcome by just one severe environmental event. Similarly, research and observations in the wake of recent hurricanes that have affected the Caribbean islands and the United States have demonstrated that natural systems can play critical roles in buffering people against coastal storm impacts. SNAP will focus on exploring how conserving existing coastal habitat and restoring what has been lost can help protect coastal communities and livelihoods from the impacts that result from storms – such as hydro-meteorological hazards like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and other extreme environmental events.

The first SNAP Call for Proposal was released in July 2013. Proposals are in and the Call is now closed. The proposals will be reviewed by the SNAP Leadership Team in early October. The next call for proposals will be issued in early 2014.

SNAP has been generously funded through founding grants by Shirley and Harry Hagey, Steve and Roberta Denning, Seth Neiman, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

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Posted on September 24, 2013