Let it flow – Remove barriers, restore river ecosystems
Webinar on the challenges for the EU nature restoration plan!
Our rivers are in a bad state. According to the latest EEA’s State of the Water (https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/state-of-water), only 44% are in a good or high ecological state. Apart from chemical pollution (airborne or from waste water) or through nutrient deposition (from agriculture), built alterations are one of the heaviest pressures for these important ecosystems.
These barriers – such as dams, weirs, ramps, fords and culverts – have a terrible impact on rivers, affecting river health, the quality and availability of water, and blocking longitudinal connectivity therefore threatening the survival of vulnerable species.
Last year the EU Horizon 2020 project Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers (AMBER) has shown (after walking 2,700 km of streams in 28 countries) that there are more than 1 million barriers in our rivers, with 10% of them being obsolete.
If we want to achieve the 25,000 km goal of free flowing rivers, we have to tackle these barriers. The upcoming nature restoration plan (4th quarter 2021) will present an opportunity to change things to the better!
When we talk about barriers in our rivers we also must talk about hydropower, especially small installations. We are currently racing against time to reduce our emissions and fight the climate crisis, but we should not turn a blind eye towards the biodiversity crisis. Hydropower can have detrimental effects on the ecosystem of rivers and therefore we would like to discuss this trade-off
Here you can rewatch our discussion about the state of our rivers and how to restore them:
Our panellists and their presentations :
- Trine Christiansen- European Environment Agency, Department of Nature Capital and Ecosystems EEA-Parliament
- Prof. Carlos Garcia de Leaniz– Swansea University, Coordinator of AMBER Presentation AMBER_final
- Bettina Doeser – European Commission, DG Environment, Head of Unit C1(Clean Water) (no presentation)
- Andrea Goltara – Managing Director, Italian Centre for River Restoration Hydro_Greens_8July21_Goltara
- Claire Baffert–Senior Water Policy Officer at WWF Claire Baffert__Let it flow EP event_8-07-2021
Hosted by MEPs Jutta Paulus & Eleonora Evi
At the end of the conference, we presented our green demands for a future restoration and protection of our rivers which is now open to public consultation.
We want to hear your opinion!
You can find our draft here: Let it flow-Paper