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On the ecological and social dimensions of hydropower development across the tropics

Short title: Ecological and social dimensions of hydropower in

Chairs: Ana Filipa Palmeirim, Isabel Jones

Contact: anafilipapalmeirim@gmail.com

The burgeoning energy demand worldwide has led to a proliferation of hydroelectric dams, firstly in the northern hemisphere and subsequently across tropical developing countries, which have become the new hydropower frontier. As such, hydroelectric dams have induced widespread loss, fragmentation and degradation of terrestrial and aquatic habitats in lowland tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems. In this symposium, we aim to synthetize current interdisciplinary knowledge on the ecological and social impacts of hydropower development in tropical ecosystems, with a focus on forest habitats. We will give particular emphasis to biodiversity responses to habitat loss and insular fragmentation induced by hydroelectric dams, as well as bringing socio-ecological dimensions of dam development to the fore. During the symposium, researchers currently working on a variety of tropical landscapes will focus on diverse aspects of dam-induced impacts. As such, our symposium expects to bring together theoretical advancements and guidelines for biodiversity conservation and social-environmental impact mitigation from future dam development across the tropics. This symposium further represents a great opportunity for researchers working on hydropower to get together and discuss about the long-term and ongoing research to be presented. To cover a reasonable number of topics and study areas within the subject of our symposium, we propose a gender-balanced list of six speakers, including both well-established and younger scientists (below we provide the list of potential speakers and corresponding tentative titles) Given that hydropower development is a major environmental issue across the tropics, we expect this symposium to potentially attract a wide range of attendees in the conference.\r\n

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