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To motivate the young generation to think and work on soil and water conservation, WASWAC continues to hold the International Youth Forum on Soil and Water Conservation (IYFSWC). Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, international travels became difficult, so the 3rd session was held in hybrid form of virtual and in-presence under the strong support of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences of Tarbiat Modares University, Noor City, Mazandaran Province, Iran, where is the main conference place located. In addition, the forum received valuable supports from different international and national organizations. The UNESCO branch in Tehran and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, Agrohydrology Research Group (TMU), and Kalleh Dairy Company financially supported the forum. Beijing Datum Technology Development CO., LTD provided honorioums for the awardees of WASWAC Youth Outstanding Paper Award (YOPA) 2021. In addition, valuable contributions from various countries including Iran, China, India, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Montenegro, and Germany, have been well received and appreciated.

The opening ceremony was held in online and in-presence combined form on October 17, 2021. Dr. Masoud Mansour - the Deputy Minister of Jihad-e-Agriculture and Head of Forests, Range & Watershed Management Organization, Prof. Mohammad Taghi Ahmadi - the President of Tarbiat Modares Ubniversity, Prof. Abdolmohammad Abedian Kenari – the Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences (TMU), Prof. Ning Duihu – the President of World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC), Dr. Liu Hongguang – the representative of Jiangxi Academy of Water Science and Engineering, Prof. Hans Thultrup – the UNESCO Representative, Prof. Seyed Hamidreza Sadeghi – the forum secretary, and Prof. Ali Salajegheh – Head of Department of Environment of Iran were given welcome addresses, speeches or technical reports, respectively.

Forum glance

A total number of 106 abstract/full papers were collected, of which 51 full papers were evaluated for the WASWAC Youth Outstanding Paper Award (DATUM) 2021 by senior international scientists globally. Total 140 participants including 50 in-presence and 90 online were persistently attended virtually and in-presence, respectively.

The following are the forum's main outcomes approved by all attendees (i.e., governmental and non-governmental bodies, senior and junior scientists, experts, researchers, academic intellectuals, extensionists, and post-graduate students) who virtually and physically attended the forum.

(1) The problem-oriented and monitoring-based integrated watershed management with the active participation of all stockholders guarantees to maintain the security and health of the watershed through which inter- and intra-generational justice will also be achieved. In this regard, young people who focusing on the conditions of watershed will play an essential role in innovating and creating new ideas based on social, cultural, and geographical conditions.

(2) Adaptive and integrated watershed management was discussed and analyzed as a sound approach to be applied for soil and water resources conservation in changing environments with a high level of uncertainties.

(3) The Watershed governance approach as a holistic view and based on the river basin organization (RBO) concept was advisable to govern the entire available resources at the watershed level.

(4) Sustainable development approaches like low impact development, in-situ indigenous and decentralized rainwater harvesting system, resources multiple-use, rain cities, and lifestyle review were recognized as achievable approaches for proper management of soil and water resources in changing conditions.

(5) Using innovations, new/high technologies, indirect measurements, economically affordable, technically sound, comparative studies, and environmentally friendly was pointed out for the effective and fast soil and water conservation.

(6) Implementation of lawful, low-cost, and environmentally friendly approaches such as forest and rangeland reclamation, ecosystem restoration, and micro-organism inoculation were recommended for sustainable soil and water conservation.

(7) Collaborative consideration of different components of the soil erosion and water cycle processes at different global, regional, national, and finally watershed levels was amplified for better and meaningful modeling of soil and water-related issues.

(8) In cooperation with scientists working in soil erosion and sediment yield assessments, geospatial and temporal modeling were emphasized as a robust approach to get appropriate managerial strategies for soil and water conservation.

(9) Quantitative and qualitative (e.g., WOCAT) monitoring-based assessments with a further focus in developing countries were also emphasized as a valuable baseline for drawing a proper roadmap in soil and water conservation in changing environments.

(10) Thorough consideration in land-use/cover management in different ecosystems with particular attention to various payment for ecosystem services (PES) approach for quality and quantity conservation soil and water resources was also approved. 

(11) The close and synergic collaboration among national (e.g., Universities, Iranian Watershed Management Society; Water Harvesting Society; Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Management Organization and Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Institute of Iran) and international (e.g., Universities, WASWAC, UNESCO, UNDP, FAO, Soil and Water Conservation Society of India) executive, educational, research and policymaking agencies as well as WASWAC networking (e.g., establishing WASWAC Youth Network) was affirmed to get significant achievement in motivating young and woman in soil and water conservation planning at different scales.

(12) Integrated planning should be based on a rational approach based on the soil-water-food-energy nexus and footprint at the watershed scale.

(13) Especially, the diligent participation of youth and women in the ‘‘International Center for Integrated Watershed Management and Biological Resources in Arid and Semi-arid Areas in Iran’’ is necessary to achieve the goals of integrated watershed management. The invitation of Prof. Seyed Hamidreza Sadeghi for the membership in the Board of Governors of this center as a representative of Tarbiat Modares University, cooperation, and compelling presence of the WASWAC was also approved.

During the Third International Youth Forum on Soil and Water Conservation (3rd IYFSWC), the WASWAC Youth Outstanding Paper Award (DATUM) 2021 was released.

Affected by the epidemic, international travel became impossible. So this ceremony was held both online for overseas participants and in-presence for Iranian attendees. At the beginning of this ceremony, following Dr. Paige Chyu’s introduction on this award, Mr. Wang Yongli, the president of Beijing Datum Technology Development CO., LTD - the financial supporter of the honorioum, expressed that gratitude to the WASWAC for providing exchange platform for young scholars around the world, and that congratulations to the 10 winners of YOPA 2021 (Detailed information shown as following table.) Then 10 invited award guests including Prof. Yun Xie, Prof. Ali Talebi, Prof. S. Mohamad Tajbakhsh, Prof. Fei Wang, Prof. Atoollah Kavian, Prof. Miodrag Zlatic, Prof. Jvying Jiao, Prof. Paolo Tarolli, Prof. Xiaoying Liu, and Prof. Duihu Ning announced the awardees and introduced the awarded paper’s highlights briefly. After issuing electronical certificates, 10 awardees expressed their gratitude and excitement in their acceptance speeches. Finally, Prof. Seyed Hamidreza Sadeghi made a summary report and gave a closing speech.

Issuing Award on the Spot

SomeAward Guests are Introducing the Winners
Some Winners are Making Acceptance Speeches

TheInformation on All YOPA (DATUM) Award 2021 Winners


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