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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

20 February 2020 – Over 110 organisations have now signed up to the Catchment Management Declaration which aims to gather commitment and action for a multisector approach to catchment management. This update outlines the progress signatories have made and demonstrates the breadth of action being taken in support of the Declaration.

Download the updated Catchment Management DeclarationCLN cover

The Catchment Management Declaration launched in May 2018 at the Water Summit attended by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Since then over 110 organisations have signed up to Declaration’s six principles, forming the Catchment Leadership Network (CLN) which aims to drive a step change in the level of activity on catchment management by:

  • supporting strategic business engagement in catchment management;
  • identifying and addressing barriers, gaps and enablers that will catalyse a sustainable model for catchment management in the UK and Ireland;
  • strengthening institutional capacities and enablers, including financial mechanisms and governance approaches to engage in catchment management;
  • capturing, learning from and applying best practice; and
  • facilitating and showcasing the delivery of exemplar cross-sector catchment management schemes and partnerships.

Signatories are now embracing a multitude of approaches in support of collective catchment management action including: the delivery of market mechanisms to fund activities; applying ‘soft’ engineering measures to support natural flood management; and tackling misconnections that cause direct water pollution. Several barriers to progress are also outlined including regulation, funding, evidence, and institutional structure and skills.

The report also contains an overview the work of the CLN Advisory Group, including a planned programme of work to address the identified barriers and common challenges across catchments.

Peter Simpson Peter Simpson, Chief Executive, Anglian Water said:

“As a founding member of the Catchment Leadership Network and Chair of BITC’s Water Taskforce I see great value in creating cross sector collaborative projects to deliver solutions for challenges that we all share. That is why I was so pleased to play a part in developing the Catchment Declaration and the subsequent Catchment Leadership Network.”

Aspects of the CLN Advisory Groups work are supported by a grant from The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund as part of a wider project being led by the CISL Business & Nature team to deliver systematic change within policy and business for collective river catchment management. Find out more about this project here.

Download the Declaration here. 


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The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.


Published February 2020