News & Events

DELTAS in crisis : dams, drying rivers and lost soil fertility for tens of millions

January 31, 2020 12-1:30pm, Marshall Building room 531

While deltas encroached over the sea until the early 20th century, they are presently retreating, experiencing loss of fertility, decreasing food and fish production and increased flooding, while they are facing sea level rise. The future of deltas is alarming and millions of people are at risk because of unanticipated impacts of human actions. 

While soil erosion and downstream sediment deposition in river channels and floodplains have been major threats in the past centuries in the regions of the globe experiencing intensive land use and climatic crises, the 20th century displays a completely different picture in an increasing number of watersheds. Sediment trapping by dams (and the success of erosion control) has deeply changed sediment budgets and sediment transit at the world scale.  

The measures to be implemented at the delta scale, and solidarity at the watershed scale, are of prime importance in the perspective of the worst emerging regional crisis on the globe. Climate change must not be an excuse to get rid of human direct responsibility in river management. Please RSVP to Ally Beaulieu or 626-4393.


Jean-Paul Bravard is professor of geography emeritus at the University of Lyon. A specialist in environmental geography, he focused his research on rivers, impacts of dams, sediment and geoarchaeology of alluvial plains.

REsource extraction: impacts, resistance and conflict resolution?

January 27-28, 2020, Marshall Building room 531

 iGlobes IRL and the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy are again collaborating to put on an international seminar on resource extraction. Its aim is to provide multiple perspectives on resource extraction, social and environmental impacts, resistance and conflict resolution by encouraging communication and asking key questions: What are the drivers of resource extraction and in which geographies and political contexts is it most prevalent? What are the impacts? What forms of resistance emerge? 

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