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The main goal of European Rivers Network (ERN)

ERN seeks to promote the sustainable wise management of living rivers and water in opposition to the exploitation, pollution and degradation that has occurred in the past.

The European Rivers Network is a European information and collaboration network of organisations and individuals working in the field of river protection.

The aim of ERN is to link groups, organisations and persons working for the protection of rivers and to improve communication between them. (environment, culture, education and human rights).

The European Rivers Network (ERN) was founded 1994 by Roberto A. Epple as a project of SOS Loire Vivante, now  ERN France - SOS Loire Vivante (NGO french "loi 1901", founded in 1989) in technical cooperation with IRN (International Rivers Network), WWF and other partners.

Running projects and campaigns :

Black Hydro - Damwatch : a campaign against 'bad dams" and for a labelisation of "good dams". (Start : 2016)

Setup the Wild Rivers Project and the associated "Wild Rivers Fund ("Rivières sauvages") inluding the creation of labels.

Supporting or and Leading Dam Decommissioning Campaigns in France and Europe,
Sélune libre and Le Nouveau Poutès

Support for world wide campaigns against destructive water development projects. (We apply the WCD Recommondation to evaluat projects)

Internationam Coordination of the Campaigns "Salmon Comeback" to Switzerland 2020) in cooperation with WWF Switzerland.

Rivers of pictures and flows of words a educational project for yung people. It promotes since 1996 through the arts watershed awareness. (multidisciplinary approach) .

BIG JUMP 2005-2015 Campaign : ERN is the Initiator and Coordinator of the Big Jump (International River Swimming Day). “Big Jump” aims at reconciliating people with their rivers and to gain people's support to the big European restoration effort for rivers and wetlands suchas the huge Water Framework Directive of the European Community. Over 350 000 peoples, along 31 rivers basins in 22 countries participated in 2005 !

• Running RIVERNET (the Web Portal for living rivers).
RIVERNET offers multilingual information concerning rivers and their watersheds, 
(over 2000 every day in 2008)

• Establishing a UNESCO Biosphere on the upper Loire Valley in France

• Co-ordination of the Loire Vivante Network (Living Loire, France)

- Publishing the e-mail based RiverNews (former RiverFax).
This delivers important multilingual information about current events related to rivers of Europe and the world. ERN supports other thematical and river basin focused e-mail work groups (listservs).

completed projects :

• Developing a webbased RiverInfo Systemweb (GIS) (project completed)

• Partner in AQUANET EUROPE FOUNDATION (project completed)
Five non-profit organizations in Europe, based in Spain (Fundacion Nueva Cultura del Agua), Belgium ( RIOU ), The Netherlands (Stichting Reinwater), France (European Rivers Network - ERN) and Italy (Gruppo 183 - Onlus), and dealing with issues related to the sustainable development of water resources have united to form a new organization.The aim of the organization is the sustainable management of waters and the related ecosystems in the European Union.
The organization realises its aim by:
a) organisation and co-ordination of national and international activities;
b) monitoring and promotion of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and related EU provisions;
c) exchange of knowledge and experience on best practices;
d) stimulation of relevant educational, scientific and publicity activities at both national and international level;
e) raising of public awareness. The organization acts in co-operation with public or private bodies concerned for the protection and management of water, both at national and international level.
Its activities cover the whole of the European Union as well as the areas of the world concerned by the European Union's policies.

Partner in the RhineNet Project (EU InterReg 3b Project), (project completed)
Developing participative management for the Rhine.
Objectives : " The identification and development of lasting practices in water management, which have as a goal the enforcement and development of the Rhine habitat towards a good ecological quality while considering citizen interests
" The mitigation of user conflicts"
" The promotion of international cooperation between citizens, institutions, authorities and municipalities and the dissemination of know how

Youth Riverbasin Parliaments in European river basins. (project competed 2007)

• Clearinghouse for the european campaign against Spains National Hydrological Plan in cooperation with the spanish NGOs. (project completed in 2006)

• Consulting and Participation in the Lebendige Elbe” (Living Elbe campaign (a DUH and G+J project) with the main goal to link the more than 400 organisations and to establish a Network of UNESCO Worldheritage and UNESCO MaB Site along the Elbe river. (Project completed, 1998 - 2008)

Contacts :

Main and Westeuropean Office
8 rue Crozatier,
43000 Le Puy, Southern France
Phone +33 471 02 08 14    Fax +33 471 02 60 99   
infos at

Ask for our liste of antennas in the main european river basins


to contact us : infos (at) :

Founder & General Coordination
Roberto A. Epple   Le Puy / France and Geneva / Switzerland +33 4 71 02 08 14

Antenna Central- , Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Alfred Olfert, Dresden / Germany

Coordinator for South- West- and North Europe
Roberto A. Epple, Le Puy / France and Geneva / Switzerland
+33 4 71 02 08 14

Coordinator for Spain and Portugal:

Director & Manager Headquater ERN France
Simon Burner +33 4 71 02 08 14
Secretary : Cathérine Ribeyre

Europe central Europe de l'Est et Eurasie, Coordinator :
Alfred Olfert, Dresden / Germany +49 351 31 37 841

Coordinator for Spain and Portugal:

Coordinator pour l'Europe sudouest, ouest et nord
Roberto A. Epple, Le Puy / France and Geneva / Switzerland

Project Staff
Martin Arnould, Saint Etienne/Lyon
Georges Emblanc, Paris France
Corinne Forst, Le Puy France
Denis Coudron ( Coord. technique projet Rivières sauvages)
Mélanie Taquet (chargé mission Rivières sauvages)
Lucie Galland, Le Puy / France

Accountig / Secretary:

Christele Tran Le Puy / France +33 4 71 02 08 14

Cathérine Ribeyre, Le Puy France

SIG / Cartographie / Infographie
Bernd Paulowitz, Paris / France et
Ute Ruf, région Strasbourg, France / Allemagne

Coordination de l'information et de l'InterNet,Traductions :
réseaux de bénévoles

Logistic Mas de Bonnefont (Info Center Haute Vallée Loire)
Jean Paul Chabanon, Le Puy / France +33 4 71 02 08 14
Elian Fontvielle, Le Puy / France +33 4 71 02 08 14

and many volunteers


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These pages and their contents are © Copyright of the European Rivers Network.




ERN s multilingual Web Portal
for Living Rivers

News on
ERNs work :

go to the projects links

Do you know our great poster
"European River Basins" ?

co founded by ERN

World Comission on Dams
(Dam & Devellopment)


The dates of the next
BIG JUMP are fixed !