The Global Catchment Initiative (GCI) of the Global Water System Project (GWSP) held its conference „The Global Dimensions of Change – Threats, Linkages and Adaptation“ in Bonn, Germany, 6-8 December 2010. The aim of this conference was to advance understanding concerning the global aspects of river basins and their management by reviewing the state‐of‐the‐art of research, and open a dialogue with professionals and policy makers about this subject.
In particular, the conference focused on understanding the connection between changes in a river basin and driving forces originating outside of the basin, e.g. the impact of climate change on river basin water availability, or the influence of international food trade on land use and resulting hydrologic changes within a basin.
The conference brought together 122 scientists and stakeholders from 24 countries. Besides keynotes held by invited speakers and case-study presentations of participants, there were two panel discussions that engaged the wider audience in the debates: one about water ethics and another one about opinion exchange between scientists and river basin managers. The second panel discussion, in particular, created a very lively engaged discussion about what science has to offer to river basin managers, what are opportunities and constraints in the science system, and which institutional arrangements have to be implemented in order to build trust between scientists and river basin managers.