global environmental changes are being predicted by the United
Panel on Climate Change for the next 50 years, including doubling
of atmospheric CO2 relative to its pre-industrial level, global
mean temperature rise of 1°C, sea level increase by 20 cm
and growth of the world human population by another 50%.
Given the particular vulnerability of many aquatic habitats, the
Foundation for Environmental Conservation (FEC) and the Swiss
Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG)
have called this landmark meeting for early 2003 to promote well-informed
international debate about what the next quarter century might
hold in store for all the water-based ecosystems of the earth.
Directly following the World Day for Water in the International
Year of Freshwater, declared by the United
Nations General Assembly , the 5th ICEF will assess threats
to resilience and likely changes in the 21 major aquatic systems
over a time horizon of the next 25 years. For this purpose, FEC
and EAWAG have engaged leading scientists from around the world
to review each of the major marine and freshwater systems. The
5th ICEF will be held in Zurich at the Swiss Federal Institute
of Technology Zurich (ETH) and will offer environmental managers
and opinion-formers a unique and objective basis for environmental
strategy formulation at regional and global levels.