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A watershed moment for healthy watersheds

The healthy watersheds concept links ecosystem condition with human benefits and helps decision-makers evaluate trade-offs. Implementation requires letting go of technocratic approaches, accounting for ecosystem services, embracing watersheds’ complexity and supporting participatory processes and subsidiarity.

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Fig. 1: An example of the characteristic complexity of a watershed (Rhone River near Culoz, France).
Fig. 2: A framework for watershed health, illustrating its three pillars and principles.


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We thank the Pisces Foundation for supporting this work.

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Correspondence to Derek Vollmer.

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Nature Sustainability thanks Chris Dickens and Aliny Pires for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Vollmer, D., Abell, R., Bezerra, M. et al. A watershed moment for healthy watersheds. Nat Sustain 6, 233–235 (2023).

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