The International Symposium “Ecohydrology, Biotechnology And Engineering: Towards The Harmony Between Biogeosphere And Society On The Basis Of Long Term Ecosystem Research”

Last modified: 18 October 2013

The conference was attended by 210 participants from 31 countries.  We had a pleasure to accommodate 95 oral presentations and 50 posters dealing with ecohydrology, biotechnologies and engineering with reference line of long-term ecosystem research.

We believe that following the United Nations “International Year of Water Cooperation”, the Symposium provided a transdisciplinary, international forum for discussing the ecologically sound solutions for water management and environmental sustainability, expressed in the Themes of the VIII Phase of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme and the European Commission vision of “Green Europe”.

Moreover, as a result of the mutual effort of all the plenary speakers, presenters, session chairmen and attendants, the conference followed the vision of the XXI -century science formulated by International Council of Science Unions (ICSU), as “integrative, problem solving and policy oriented”.  We believe that it was also an important step towards formulation of the “integrative environmental science paradigm”, towards achieving harmony between the biogeosphere and humanity, postulated in the Columbus Declaration.

Finally, in order to follow up the conference achievements, we would like to kindly invite you to work together towards making the results of our joint effort visible and valid. This goal can be met by a threefold action:

Firstly, we look forward for your manuscripts to be published in the special issue of Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology Journal. It will increase the outreach of the Symposium and facilitate further steps in binding science and implementation. The extended deadline for the papers submission is on the 15th of October.

Second, we would like to ask the chairpersons of the sessions to provide us with the bullet points on emerging areas of collaboration between research, policy and practice, key challenges and foreseen problem-solving approaches, that can guide our activities towards strengthening international cooperation in the area of sustainability, water and environmental management, and building international capacity and European Research and Technology Infrastructure on the way to sustainability. The conclusions of the session will be a basis for introduction to the special issue of the Journal and a contribution to the synthesis paper. We are waiting for your summaries till the 15th October.

Third, we will highly appreciate receiving the comments and suggestions from the Scientific and Drafting Committees, which  will be incorporated into the final document of the Symposium. We are waiting for your first contributions till the 15th October.

Once again We would like to thank you all for inspiring presentations, stimulating discussions and creative atmosphere. We hope that the connections and which were made during this Symposium will bring many opportunities for further fruitful collaboration.

Professor Maciej Zalewski
Cymposium Chair

Dr Iwona Wagner
Convenor of the Symposium

The Symposium was organized within:

  • United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (2013).
  • International Bioeconomy Week in the Lodzkie Region
  • The Green Future Program, integrating the research potential of the Lodzkie Region for bioeconomy - intelligent specialization using biotechnologies for sustainable developmet and environemental management.


  • European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology under the auspices of UNESCO (ERCE u/a UNESCO);
  • University of Lodz;
  • Project Life+ EnvEurope, Environmental quality and pressures assessment across Europe: the LTER network as an integrated and shared system for ecosystem monitoring(LIFE08 ENV/IT/000399), and
  • Marshal’s Office of the Lodz Region, Poland.


  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Institute for Water Resources (USACE-IWR), USA
  • The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), Rivers & Coastal Group, U.K.
  • International Society of Limnology (SIL)
  • International Centre for Coastal Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO (ICCE), Portugal
  • Collective Wastewater Treatment Plant in Lodz, Poland
  • Infrastructure Company in Lodz, Poland
  • Municipal Company of Water Supply and Sewage System in Lodz, Poland

Supported by:

  • LTER-Europe Network (European Long-Term Ecosystem Research)
  • Project „Innovative resources and effective methods of safety improvement and durability of buildings and transport infrastructure in the sustainable development” (512/040003)
  • Project Life+ ECOROB, Ecotones for reducing diffuse pollution
  • Project Life + EH-REK, Ecohydrologic rehabilitation of recreational reservoirs “Arturówek” (Łódź) as a model approach to rehabilitation of urban reservoirs


In the Anthropocene Era, the period in which we live, almost 70% of the Earth’s surface has been highly modified by humans, leading to the emergence of “novel ecosystems”. Now, as humanity approaches the limits of global carrying capacity, and experiences the parallel phenomena of a degradation of the global environment and population growth, aggravated by climate change, perhaps destined to conclude with yet another “tragedy of the commons”, the future of human life lies with a paradigm shift towards more sustainable management of natural resources.

Water has always been the key driver of the biogeochemical evolution of the biosphere and civilisation development. Against the background of escalating global climate change, it is, and will continue to be, the limiting factor in achieving sustainable development and peaceful coexistence in many areas of the world. Current activities seem to neglect the fact that our existence on Earth inevitably depends on our ability to profoundly understand, maintain and re-establish fundamental long-term climatic, hydrological and ecological processes across scales. In prioritizing short-term management, we risk greater uncertainty within both the ecological and the social systems.

In 1997, the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO adopted Ecohydrology as the foundation of a new scientific approach and paradigm in integrated water management for sustainability. As a management paradigm, Ecohydrology extends the perspective from environmental protection and the control of environmental hazards towards identification of the hierarchy of regulatory processes, with a special emphasis on the interplay between water and biota. As an environmental science, Ecohydrology strongly relates to Engineering emphasising its ability to increase the efficiency of resource use, prolong product life cycles and lower emissions, and integrates it with the capacity of ecosystems. In the current phase, it attempts to involve long-term socio-ecological research in defining the areas for possible augmentation of natural capital, to find a compromise between lifestyle and sustainability, and better engage Engineering in maintaining ecological functions.

Environmental sciences have now progressed far enough to develop a dialogue on integrating the efforts of ecohydrologists, engineers, and social and economic scientists, to move towards ecologically sound solutions, towards harmony between the biogeosphere and humanity. We hope that the symposium will a leverage to boost this dialog. The Symposium is organised within the framework of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation 2013.

The Symposium will provide a transdisciplinary, international floor to further drive discussion on the conclusions of the 4th International EcoSummit (Columbus, Ohio, USA, 2012), presented in the “Columbus Declaration: Harmonization of Societal Needs with the EcoSphere in the Anthropocene Era”.

The Symposium is organised within the Green Future Program, integrating the research potential of the Łódź Region for Bioeconomy – an intelligent specialization using biotechnologies for sustainable development and environmental management.

Goals of the Symposium:

The Symposium will provide a transdisciplinary, international forum to contribute to ecologically sound solutions in the water management sector to drive a greater commitment in achieving and maintaining harmony between the biogeosphere and humanity. It will contribute to the sustainability targets of the European Commission, particularly achieving the goals of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC), Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) and the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment (COM (2005) 718).


Session 1: Integration of environmental knowledge and engineering for identification of key challenges and potential solutions for sustainability
Session 2: Analysing long-term ecological trends and forecasting ecosystem status in the face of global change
Session 3: The perspective of integrating Ecohydrology and biotechnologies with engineering approaches
Session 4: Urban Ecohydrology - towards sustainable cities
Session 5: Harmonizing ecosystem potential with societal needs on the basis of mapping human impact and ecosystem services
Session 6: The necessity & opportunities for the enhancement of resilience of socio-ecological systems under conditions of increasing uncertainty
Session 7: Systemic solutions and modeling in river basin assessment & management Poster session

F1: Action Plan for African Ecohydrology Initiatives    
F2: Ecosummit Forum

W1: Urban Ecohydrology Workshop   
W2: Workshop on Long-Term Ecosystem Research (ILTER)   
W3: Polish IHP National Committee wokshop (working lunch)

Steering Committee:

  • Maciej Zalewski, Chairman of the Steering Committee, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO, Poland
  • Graham Piper, co-Chairman of the Steering Committee, CIWEM Rivers & Coastal Group,UK
  • Robert A. Pietrowsky, co-Chairman of the Steering Committee, Director of IWR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USA
  • Włodziemierz Nykiel, Rector of the University of Lodz
  • Eugene Z. Stakhiv, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USA
  • Michael Mirtl, International LTER - co-Principal Investigator, Environment Agency, Austria
  • Alessandra Pugnetti, National Research Council (CNR) Italy
  • Shahbaz Khan, Deputy Director, Asia and the Pacific Regional Science Bureau of UNESCO based at Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Luis Chicharo, International Centre for Coastal Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO (ICCE), University of Algarve, Portugal
  • Kinga Krauze, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO, Poland
  • Iwona Wagner, Convenor of the Symposium, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO, Poland
  • Ilona Gągała, Secretary of the Symposium, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO, Poland

Scientific Committee:

  • Blanca Jimenez-Cisneros, Chairman of the Scientific Committee, Director of the Division of Water Sciences, Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
  • Stanisław Bielecki, Rector of the Technical University of Lodz, Poland
  • Patrick S. Bourgeron, ILTER Science and Programs Committee, ILTER Project coordinator, NSTAAR - An Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, CU-Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • Leon Braat, Chair of Management Board, ALTER-Net, Senior Researcher International Biodiversity Policy, Alterra, Wageningen-UR, The Netherlands
  • Pascal Breil, Member of National Institute for Environmental and Agricultural Science and Research (IRSTEA), France
  • Johannes Cullmann, Chair of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrology Programme (IHP) of UNESCO, Germany
  • Martin Dokulil, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Limnology, Mondsee, Austria
  • Hery Harjono, Deputy Chairman for Earth Sciences Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI); Director of Asia Pacific Centre for Ecohydrology (APCE), Indonesia, Asia Pacific Centre for Ecohydrology (APCE), Indonesia
  • Georg Janauer, Department of Limnology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Stanisław Kaniszewski, Manager of Vegetable Cultivation and Fertilization Department, Research Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice, Poland
  • Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Chairman of the Committee for Research on Water-related Risks, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • Basant Maheshwari, Member of American society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Lech Michalczuk, Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs, Research Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice, Poland
  • William J. Mitsch, Distinguished Professor of Environment and Natural Resources, Florida Gulf Coast University,USA
  • Tadanobu Nakayama, Senior Researcher, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan
  • Gunnar Nützmann, Head of the Department Ecohydrology at Leibnitz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Germany
  • Tomasz Okruszko, Head of the Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Poland
  • Azime Tezer, Urban and Regional Planning faculty member at Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
  • Jose G. Tundisi, Director of the International Institute of Ecology in Sao Carlos, Brazil
  • Iwona Wagner, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology u/a UNESCO, in Lodz, Poland
  • Wojciech Wąsowicz, Head of the Department of Toxicology and carcinogenesis, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Poland
  • Jun Xia, Past President of International Water Resources Association (IWRA); Leading Professor & Dean at the Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Demin Zhou, UNESCO Chair in Hydroinformatics for Ecohydrology, Capital Normal University, China

Honorary Auspices

  • International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO (UNESCO-IHP)
  • Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland
  • Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Mayor of the City of Łódź Hanna Zdanowska

Maciej Zalewski
Symposium Chair
Iwona Wagner
Convenor of the Symposium
Symposium Secretariat
Ilona Gągała
Phone: +48 42 681 70 07
For more information on the scope and agenda of the symposium please visit our website:

Symposium Programme
Abstract Book

  European Regional Centre
for Ecohydrology
of the Polish Academy of Sciences

3, Tylna Str.,
90-364, Lodz, Poland
Phone: (+48) 42 681 70 06
Phone: (+48) 42 681 70 07
Fax: (+48) 42 681 30 69

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