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(544) Use of the risk analysis paradigm to structure multinational sustainability workshop on the La Plata Basin .
Boyle, Terence*,1, Ratchford, Marina2, 1 USGS, Fort Collins Science Center, Ft. Collins, CO, USA2 AAAS, International Directorate, Washington, DC, USA
ABSTRACT- The Ecosystem Dynamics and Essential Human Needs (EDEHN) project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) began a project on the La Plata Basin, which is shared by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The Parana and the Uruguay meet at the head of the Rio de la Plata, which forms the world's largest estuary. The Plata Basin drains about one-fourth of the South American continent and covers a surface of 3,100,000 km2. The Plata Basin constitutes a region of great economic, ecological, and geopolitical strategic value. Its economic potential, morphology and climate variety, rich biodiversity, soil quality, hydrological resources, port infrastructure capacity, productive potential, energy availability and cultural diversity, make it a very appropriate region for the planning of alternative strategies of sustainable development. All of these characteristics, present simultaneously in one basin, make using the Plata Basin as an EDEHN project area a great opportunity to further the understanding of natural and human inter-linkages. This initiative will adopt a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach, and deploy computing tools to quantify, compile and model key variables within the basin. The computing tools will include databases, geographic information systems, remotely sensed imagery and data, and mathematical and spatially explicit models. The first step of the project was a three-day planning workshop, funded by NSF Biocomplexity Program and NOAA, in April 2002 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This workshop engaged about 90 stakeholders within a multidisciplinary scientific framework. The risk analysis paradigm was adapted to structure the workshop and subsequent activities. Sources of threats were elaborated from the expansion and intensification of the agriculture and livestock activities within the basin. The classes of receptors were hydrological regime, biodiversity, and socio-economic development. A number of projects have been spawned by the workshop are currently in their beginning stages.
Key words: Sustainability, Risk analysis, La Plata Basin, South America
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