by ERN (European Rivers Network)                                                                                                     If you can't read this email, please view it online

Banner RIVERNEWS December 2019

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Largest dam removal in Europe : already 60 % complete !

- The Selune river will soon be back in its natural bed!
Since our field visit during the conference in September, work has progressed well: 60% of the Vezins dam has already been dismantled. The Sélune is about to fully recover its riverbed! (See header picture)   > More info on the dismantling

- The recent conference “Towards a free flowing Selune!”: Conference contents now available!

As you know, our international conference on ecological continuity took place near Mont-Saint-Michel. The Sélune dam removal project was at the heart of this milestone event. Many other examples from France and abroad were the basis of inspirational exchanges and debate, among the more than 200 participants  
> You can now find on line all the slide-shows and audio-recordings (in english and french)

EU Flag and Logo Liiving Rivers

For rivers, Christmas is coming earlier !

WFD by Seppo

Water Framework Directive is fit for purpose !
On this December the 11th, the European Commission released the fitness check results and they are largely positive: WaterFrame Directive is "fit for purpose"! Europe acknowledges that any lack of progress concerning water protection is due to poor, insufficient implementation and funding and not due to a deficiency in the legislation. The conclusions also mention that the last European public consultation received in total more than 370,000 responses, an exceptionally high number. Congratulations to all citizens and NGOs participating in the #ProtectWater campaign for making this happen. The Living Rivers Europe coalition will closely monitor next steps. We have hope that these conclusions will bring our European freshwater rivers and streams back to life and reenergise EU member states during their work to finalize River Basin Management Plans and to achieve the WFD’s objectives for the coming 2022-2027 cycle.
> More info and Living Rivers Europe Press Release

Scientists give support to the WFD
Just last week, an open letter from 5’500+ scientists was sent to Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Sinkevičius, calling on them to “save and implement the Water Framework Directive” in order to halt and reverse the catastrophic decline in freshwater biodiversity. > More info and to join the statement

Logo / Stamp Hydrobonds

Civil society organizations from around the world are calling upon the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) to abandon the certification of destructive hydropower projects as climate-friendly

The proposed hydropower criteria developed by CBI and its technical working group fall far short of acceptable standards and practice, and their adoption would pose a significant threat to rivers and the communities and freshwater species that depend on them. If adopted, the CBI’s hydropower criteria would risk opening up a funding source that could prove profitable to dam operators and institutional investors with Paris-friendly branding, while making no meaningful contribution to stemming the climate crisis.
> Read more


More than 8 700 hydro plants planned in Europe !
A new study exposes this major threat

EuroNatur, Riverwatch, WWF and GEOTA have just published a new study on the extent of the pressure on European rivers. This is a real hydroelectric frenzy that rages across the European continent. More than 8,700 new hydroelectric plants are planned on our European rivers, ……
>

Logo Salmoncomeback

Ecological continuity on Rhine :
The NGO response!

In view of the next Ministerial Conference, planned for Amsterdam in february 2020, environmental protection NGOs from the Rhine basin (Salmoncomeback Alliance) have just published a common position, in which they make known their disappointment. Indeed, at the last plenary meeting of the ICPR in Malbun in July 2019, France communicated its global plan for the restoration of ecological continuity of the upper Rhine in which it has postponed the 2020 deadline to implement a free-flowing river all the way to Basel ...    
> Read the position paper    

60 years ago, the Fréjus dam suddenly broke ...

What a sad anniversary! On December 2, 1959, the Malpasset dam (Fréjus-France), under the pressure of torrential rains overwhealming its capacity, released 50 million cubic meters of water, in a wave 60 meters high, engulfing more than 400 victims... Just one of far too many other dam-breaking accidents which have occurred in Europe: For example, in 1963, the Vajont dam in Italy overflowed causing 2000 deaths! This recent anniversary should remind all of us that dams do break: Yet another reason to remove old dams...
> More info


Concessions renewal on the Franco-Swiss river “Doubs”
NGOs will be involved…. but how ?

Several French and Swiss NGOs have requested their respective governments, to be involved in the considerations on the renewal of concessions of the three hydroelectric structures present on the Franco-Swiss Doubs (The Châtelot, The Chorus and The Ghoul) which will soon come up for renewal. (Respectively 2024, 2028, 2032). Their governments have just responded!
> More info




16 May 2020
Everywhere (in the world !)
World Fish Migration Day


World Fish Migration Day is a one-day global celebration to create awareness of the importance of free-flowing rivers and migratory fish. Everyone is welcome to join in on this celebration and organize their own event! This time, we are celebrating our love of both fish and rivers…love flows !

More info

14-16 May 2020
Bavaria (Germany)

"Dam Removal goes Alps" Seminar

Organized by the WWF (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Dam Removal Europe partners, and in cooperation with regional and international partners, this seminar called "Dam Removal goes Alps" will take place from 14 to 16 May 2020 in the BVS Educational Centre Holzhausen in Utting am Ammersee, Bavaria, Germany

More info

11-19 June 2020
Marseille (France)

IUCN World Conservation Congress

Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges. It will take place at the Parc Chanot, in Marseille, France

More info

published by ERN European Rivers Network

8 Rue Crozatier (Siège), 43000  Le Puy, France    +33 (0) 4 71 02 08 14   
Publication director : Roberto Epple, Président Fondateur    
Writers :   Anne-Fanny  Profit, Corinne Ronot, Simon Burner, Roberto Epple