A pan-European survey on river continuity restoration.
Today in a special session at the, virtually held, European River Symposium 2021, an ECRR report was launched.
A pan European survey to strengthen and improve policies and strategic planning regarding river continuity restoration,
Sharelle Verheij, the implementer of the survey and the main author of the report presented the results of the survey to a professional river restoration audience of policy makers, planners, researchers, and river restoration practitioners at the European River Symposium 2021. The representatives of a large interest group for the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategey 2030 and the EU Green Deal welcomed the report very much, because of the valuable information on the policy and planning status and related aspects in 29 countries, covering more than 80% of the pan-European area. Moreover, the concrete conclusions and recommendations are very helpful to strengthen and improve this status.
ECRR Chairman, Martin Janes made the overall conclusion: The European and national governments, supported by NGO's and (knowledge) networks, such as the ECRR, can together contribute to developing the policy, planning and implementation to achieve the specific goals of longitudional river continuity restoration.
Jonė Leščinskaitė, Chief Specialist of the Ministry of Environment of Lthuana, as a survey participan, said in her reflection speach: There has been paid attention to aspects that are often neglected or avoided, as awareness raising, public participation and the role of the NGO'S. But these are very important as everyone has a role concerning this important issues of river continuity restoration and biodiversity improvements.
Professor Tom Buijse, Deltares, advisor to the survey and co-author of the report: The report gives very concrete and practical conclusions and recommendations, fitting very well with the holistic approach where river basin restoration should be based on. But still important issues, as prioritisation principels, cirtria and hereon based strategies, are to be developed.
Bart Fokkens, ECRR Associate expert and project coordinator: I am very happy with the participation degree of the countries. Countries that did not particpate, mainly in Eastern region of greater Europe declared that they are in two groups of each 6 countries, running EU funded training and demonstration projects on the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in their national legislation and policy. These projects enables the now missing countries to become in the near future participants of the group jointly working on the river continuity restoration policy and planning development for their own countries.
Saija Koljonen, Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland and member of the Steering Group for the survey: A great resullt, very usefull for countries who want to emphasize on river continuity restoration like Finland.
Josée Peress, Office for Biodiversity (OFB), France and member of the Steering Group for the survey: These reults, conclusions and recommendations, together with enthusiatic group of survey participants, form a sound basis for an in depth inventory on the actual policies , avaiable guidance and tools for river continuity restoration in the countries and in this way learning from and helping each other.
All these reactions show a clear and nice pathway forward to a promising future with an abundance of opportunities for the restoration of freshwater habitats for more biodiversity in greater Europe!
The complete report: A pan European survey to strengthen and improve policies and strategic planning regarding river continuity restoration, can be downloaded here.
The ECRR Technical Newsletter article: A pan-European survey to develop policies and planning regarding river continuity restoration, can be downloaded here.
And Sharelle Verheij's presentation, Developing policy and planning of river continuity restoration in Greater Europe, can be downloaded here.
Or see www.ecrr.org in the publication section.