A narrative report on the European River Symposium 2021

EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and EU Green Deal shaping Europe's Water Management

A narrative report on the European River Symposium 2021

The symposium highlighted the changes to rivers and specific actions that have been brought about by the European Legislation particulary the Water Framework Directive (WFD) which was recently being confirmed as fit for purpose. The emphasis was on improved implementation in quantity and quality, better progress and increased attention to eco-hydro-morphological conditions and measures. Besides, the focus of this year’s Symposium was on the possibilities and opportunities presented by the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the EU Green Deal. The symposium ranged from presentation of high-level, policy briefs and dialogue in panels with direct implementers and practitioners. Special focus was on alignment and exploration of interests between water users (water supply, navigation, agriculture, and hydropower) and conservation and planning and management authorities. Case studies and examples were explored in more detail in these groups.

he results of the conference presented in this newsletter, in a narrative form giving an impression of the discussions and conclusions, offer new hope that the condition and health of rivers can be improved. The right use of legal and legislative tools, the available funding opportunities, together with dialogue and cooperation between sectors and with stakeholders and the public, all using and affecting rivers is the way forward.This challenge is to be addressed at the local, regional, and national levels. Promotion of healthy ecosystems, green infrastructure and nature- based solutions, capacity and resource development should therefore be systematically integrated in policies and planning, specifically in urban areas.

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