Biological monitoring of freshwater resources - Summer School in Suva, Fiji
UNEP GEMS/Water CDC hosted a Summer School in Suva, Fiji which focused on biological monitoring of rivers and streams. The training featured a series of remotely and locally delivered lectures by water quality experts, roundtable discussions and local field trips on water quality, biological monitoring techniques, and citizen science engagement in local monitoring of freshwater environments.
Biological monitoring is a useful tool for assessing the health of freshwater systems. Using living organisms as biomonitors of pollution or contamination in freshwater has many benefits. These organisms can integrate variable exposure to pollution over time and space by reflecting the true health of freshwater systems.
Indicator species within the aquatic environment can highlight when there are sudden changes and long-term gradual shifts in water quality. Biological sampling can also provide opportunities for social engagement and the inclusion of local citizens in water quality monitoring in their local area.
The GEMS/Water Summer School workshop entitled ‘Biological monitoring of freshwater resources’ was organized in partnership with the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre in Ireland, the Water Authority of Fiji, UNEP’s Global Programme Coordination Unit, and local UNDP Teams.
The training featured a series of remotely and locally delivered lectures by water quality experts, roundtable discussions and local field trips on biological monitoring techniques, and citizen science engagement in local monitoring of freshwater environments.
Key topics included the utility of macroinvertebrates for biological monitoring and climate change impacts on freshwater in Fiji. Local field trips also focused on identifying, and recording macroinvertebrates for the assessment of water quality.
The workshop promotes further opportunities to build local collaborative networks to develop further training on water quality monitoring and assessment.
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