The 2021 European River Symposium is a continuation of an effort begun – with the participation of the ICPDR amongst many partners – in 2013 with the convening of the first European River Symposium. The 2021 Symposium will:
- Highlight the changes to rivers and specific actions that have been brought about by the European Legislation (the Water Framework Directive)
- Discuss the possibilities and opportunities presented by the European Green Deal and European Biodiversity Strategy.
- Investigate how new initiatives can provide a significant basis for strengthening the efforts and actions to protect and restore rivers and their associated ecosystems.
The agenda will comprise a mix of presentations on rivers and the current circumstances managing them (especially from the EU), followed by working groups and dialogues. A special focus will be put on the 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 will be explored in more detail in these groups.
European rivers are still suffering pollution and damages every day. The 2018 European Water’s report found only around 40% of surface waters (rivers, lakes and transitional and coastal waters) to be in good ecological status, and only 38% in good chemical status.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 states that at least 25,000 km of rivers should be restored into free-flowing rivers by 2030. The EU Commission will help to build a European Business for Biodiversity movement making it an integral part of the European Climate Pact. And the Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal with an urgent need to reduce dependency on pesticides, antimicrobials, reduce excess fertilisation, increase organic farming, improve animal welfare and reverse biodiversity loss.
For another year a diverse group of organizations has come together to support efforts aimed at improving and accelerating the water directives implementation, exploring new multi-stakeholder cooperation, and developing nature-based solutions to protect, restore and better manage rivers in Europe.
Stay tuned for more information on the registration and agenda!