The 6th edition of the European River Restoration Conferenceintegrated with the Final event of the SEE River projectwas held from 27 - 29 October in TechGate in Vienna. An optional one day field excursion was organised to several inspiring locations nearby on 30 October. The 2nd European Riverprize was awarded in Vienna's City Hall on 28 October.

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Key challenge
This year’s conference deals with some key challenges for the future:

  • How can we innovate Integrated River Basin Management using
  • Green Infrastructure,
  • Natural Water Retention and
  • Contemporary River Corridor Management.

The Green Infrastructure (GI), a strategically planned network of (semi) natural areas designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services is now being supported as the cross-sectoral approach by the EU.

Another cross-sectoral approach is the Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) aimed at reducing vulnerability to natural disasters, namely flooding and drought. Ecosystems and their service provision should be maintained and restored by agricultural buffers and environmental flows.

Conference sessions will also focus on an innovative new approach called Contemporary River Corridor Management (CRCM). This is approach is encapsulated in the SEE River Toolkit for river and land-use planning by focusing on the river corridor as the core part of the catchment area where most pressures on rivers are likely to occur. Moreover the approach includes cross-sectoral engagement and stakeholder dialogue and cooperation on local, regional, national and international levels.

Ecological River Restoration
Ecological river restoration is one of the cross-cutting themes and solutions for supporting GI, NWRM and CRCM. Best practice approaches of river restoration have already been developed for most sectors. But first of all, NWRM and CRCM need awareness raising, outreach, ownership and capacity building. Networking events like the ERRC2014 – See River Project final event, can play an important role for this.

In this framework the conference will for better integrated river basin management showcase and discuss the realisation of new river restoration initiatives and approaches on a focused number of river restoration themes; urban resilience, sustainable land use and hydropower, hydro-morphological continuity, fish migration and ecological and economical benefits. 

The conference is organised by ECRR and the SEE River project.
The ECRR is a European network consisting of national centres and individual members bound by their mission to enhance and promote river restoration best practice throughout greater Europe. The ECRR counteracts the threats to natural riverine habitats by fostering the establishment of national river restoration networks, and by disseminating information on river restoration through the website, the newsletter and by organising events like the European River Restoration Conference.

SEE River project is led by the Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia and involving 25 more partners from 12 countries, the project aims at developing innovative approaches to contemporary river corridor management by engaging stakeholders along 6 international rivers in the South East Europe. It is co-funded by the EU in the framework of the Territorial Cooperation Programme South East Europe. 

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