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About RiverNet and ERN
SOS Loire Vivant's "Mas
de Bonnefont", Haute Loire, France
for THE FIRST EUROPEAN RIVERS NETWORK
THINK - CAMP
in SOUTHERN FRANCE (31ST JULY - 5TH AUGUST 2000 )
Dear friends of rivers,
European Rivers Network is organising a Think-Camp that will gather
people fighting for living rivers. You will find below its aim and organisation.
As we wish the team to remain a small one, we are sending a restricted
number of invitation and we will be very glad of your presence. Introduction
The aim of the think-camp is to establish contacts and links between
us, to take time to think, to step back for a while from daily "business"
to identify real challenges and design strategies for the future. To
have a look on what should be done in this new century. The ideas that
will thus come out may initiate future meetings or specific conferences.
There will be a productive atmosphere with a minimum of presentations,
no podium sessions, no townhall reception and a maximum of teamwork,
relaxing and inspiration (walks, swimming, etc). The place is favourable
for this kind of reflection : we will be alone with the river !
The workshop will take place in "Mas
de Bonnefont"- farm. It is located in the beautiful upper Loire
river valley, which was to be overflowed by the Serre de la Fare reservoir.
The association SOS Loire Vivante,
who has prevented the building of the dam trough a 10 year long fight
included a year occupation, now own this remote renovated farmhouse.
No car can reach the place and it takes 20 mn to get there so remember
to bring adequate shoes. The valley lies in the Haute-Loire area, roughly
500 kms south from Paris and 200 kms south-west from Lyon (these 2 cities
being endowed with an international airport.)
We would like the group to remain small : 15-20 persons
fighting for living rivers in Europe and Eurasia, and a few observers
from the other continents. This phase will be exclusively
ours : no experts will be present. Activities will be organised for
accompanying people (family, friends, etc.) Below are propositions of
some issues we think should be debated. Everybody is invited to bring
his ideas about what should be added, modified, developed, deleted,
etc. for the definitive guideline of these days to be established. As,
we won't be able to deal with all of these issues, we have to choose
afew together. Comments are welcome !
This type of meeting being unusual, it is difficult
to find funding. We will yet try to provide free food and lodging, except
for people coming from southern and eastern countries for whom we will
pay as well for at least a part of the travel expenses. Activities will
be organised for accompanying people (family, friends, etc.) The accommodation
there will be basic : common rooms with mattresses or tents outside.
Shower, toilets, water and a little bit of solar electricity will be
Concerning lodging, there are 3 possibilities : - you
can bring, if possible, your own tent and sleeping bag - you can sleep
in one of our 2 dormitories (mattresses provided) - we can lend you
a tent and a sleeping bag. The weather will be warm so there should
be no problem for camping ! Concerning food, a team of cooker will organise
everything. Don't forget to bring walking shoes, your swimming suit
and something typical from the country you are coming from (vine, etc)
your Roberto Epple
Director and Founder
THINK about :
A - Identifying future
" opportunities and threats " for the first quarter of the 21st century
(focus on Europe).
B - Is networking the best type of structure for the 21st century
to deal wih this issues ? Are there new forms of "working together"
C- Networking and democracy ?
D- Would an extended ERN be a solution ? If yes, what should
be the role and organisation of ERN ?
E- How to organise the connection and interaction between European
and or Euro-national NGOs with groups working on a worldwide scale on
freshwater, human rights, sustainable development, etc.
F - How to increase coordination or cooperation between and with
the big European NGO's?
G -National NGOs in Europe and their relation to EU. Do we have
to adapt our structures ? Is everything OK ?
H- Role of European NGOs in the fight against European companies
damming abroad (EDF, etc)
I -Role and position of European NGOs in water privatisation
process, in Europe and overseas (Vivendi, Lyonnaise des Eaux, etc.)
K- Strategies, targets, priorities, methods, tools to fight the
upcoming inner European issues :
- 1. Fighting TEN (Trans European Transportation Network - Waterways)
in Central and Eastern Europe
- 2. Dam decommissioning in Europe
- 3. Water shortage in Southern Europe (arid areas of Spain, Turkey,Greece,
Portugal and Magreb)
- 4. What in Europe after the nuclear era ? More dams ?
- 5. Hydropower = Greenpower ?
- 6. What is the next step to save rivers once the cleaning up of (west-)
European rivers will be over ?
- 7. Role of European NGOs in the application of the EU WATER FRAMEWORK
As we won't be able to deal with all these issues we
should choose some of them together. Discussing these issues will take
a lot of time but a part of each day will be devoted to walks, swimming
and more !
News and draft list of participants
News from ERNs Thinkcamp (J-18) Dear participants to
the 1st ERN ThinkCamp, Two and a half weeks left now till our meeting
! We are intensively preparing our house to welcome you. The last works
are being completed, the garden and the campsite are being arranged
... The team of cookers is now complete. It will be a cosmopolitan one
: Anne-Laure from France, Nathalie from Switzerland and Djemail from
Many people have already sent the confirmation of their
BISMUTH Christine, Exec. Director SOLIDARITE EAU EUROPE
BOWDEN Simon, River Teign Campaign, UK
BRINKS Elizabeth, IRN USA , River Revival Campaign
CANO Murat, Avocat, Barreau d'Istanbul (Ilisu Campaign), Turkey
CHAMBONNET Colette, Biologist & Board Member SOS Loire Vivante, France
DEVISSE Jean Stephane , Transport/Clima/Energy Dep., WWF, France (2-3
DÖRFLER Ernst Paul (BUND - River Elbe Campaign Director and Wrighter),
EK Göran, General Secretary, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
EPPLE Timur, ERN-SOS Loire Vivante, InterNet Publishing RiverNet, France/Switzerland
EPPLE Roberto, ERN, Founder / Exec. Director, France/Switzerland
GREFF Liane, Environmental Monitoring Group, South Africa
GUNKEL Stefan , ERN, GIS and Waterwaysprogramme,
JANOSSY Andras, Danube Foundation, Hungary
JEAN Eric, Archeologue, IFA Istanbul, Turkey/France
KARLIK Vlastimil, Campaign against Dams on the Labe ,Children of the
Earth , Czech Republic
KOLPAKOVA , Elena Russian Rivers Network/ Let's help the River, Russie
KRYVLOV Fedor, Let's help the river, Educational programms, Russia
LAMMERS Owen, Exec.Director, Glenn Canyon Action Network USA
MARTINOVA Elena, Russia / Siberia Dam Campaigns
MICHEL Stefan, Turkey/GAP Campaigns NABU, Germany
MBODJ Aboubacry, Représentant de la CODESEN Dakar, Senegal
OLFERT Alfred, ERN, Programmdirector Eurasia and CentralEurope, Germany
PARAISOT Stephane, SOS Loire Vivante, Educational Programms, France
PEMPONGSACHAROEN Witoon, Mekong Campaign, Thailand
PLANCHE Edith , ERN, Ethnologue - Coordinator Educational Programms,
France (2 days)
POUPET Jean Christope, Loire Office WWF France, France (2-3 days)
ROUSSEAU Gaele, ERN, campaigns assistent and information coordinator,
SHAFARENKO Sergey Cultural-Environmental Union "Belovodye" Kazhak Republic
SRETTHACHAU Chainarong (Fiat), Campaign Officer , SEARIN, Thailand
TIBET Aksel, Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes ,(Archeologue et
VLASIN Mojmir, Ecological Institute Veronica, Czech Republic
WILLIAMS Phil, President and Founder IRN
For instant we are waiting for at least 5 other persons
2. Application Forms and Transport
If you haven't done it yet, please send us back the
application forms and Transportinformations . Getting your
arrival time will enable us to schedule our shuttles from Lyon to Bonnefont.
3. General Program
30. August or bevor: Arrival in Bonnefont
31. August, 10 H Thinkcamp Start
The ThinkCamp includs 2 excursions (a 3h walk in the wild Loire river
valley and a trip by car to St-Etienne du Vigan ex damsite combined
with a 2h walk). Parallel activities for accompanying people are still
5. August, 17 H official End of theThinkcamp
6/7 August Boat trip Haute Allier and visite of the Loire Spring.
Next week a dayli programme of the activities that will take place
during the camp will be sent. All are team is looking forward meeting
Please phone us if you have any questions : Office :
+33.(0)4.71.05.57.88 or +33.(0)4.71.02.08.14) Roberto Epple : cellulare
phone +33.(0)6.08.62.12.67 or privat +33.(0)4.71.03.11.47
: Outcom (short Draft)
An international Think-Camp has taken place in Haute-Loire
(France) from July 31st to August 5th 2000.
Over 40 NGO's leaders from European countries as well as observers from
Asia, Africa and North America have taken part to this ERN
(European Rivers Network) organised meeting. (Participantlist
One of the main aim was to elaborate common strategies to face the new
21st century issues.
Four main questions have been worked on :
- Creating new means of "trans-NGOs" co-operation. How the NGOs that
are directly or indirectly working on river conservation issues, and
that are coming from different backgrounds (environmentalist, human
rights, cultural heritage conservation, etc.) can be structured and
network their abilities to collaborate efficiently on a long term basis.
The issues of the collaboration with governmental organisations and
between NGO's networks on a world-wide level have also been tackled.
- North-South solidarity. European standards not allowing anymore the
building, in our countries, of structures like big hydroelectric projects,
occidental firms are more and more exporting these technologies towards
developing countries, using unacceptable environmental, humanitarian
and economic guidelines. What can be the role of "northern" NGOs in
these big "development" projects ? How can they help to create and implement
an internationally enforceable ethic ? How can they lobby and inform
on the firms involved in those projects, as well as on the structures
financing them (Aids agencies, Export Credit Agencies, etc.). How can
they help local NGOs working inside the affected countries ?
- TEN (Trans-European Transportation Network). How a collaboration between
NGOs can help to counter this project of channelisation and inter-connection
of big European rivers. -
"Green Power". A new threat to European rivers is appearing now that
nuclear era is over. Main electricity producers are already campaigning
on the "green" value of hydroelectric energy. How can NGOs help to create
an acceptable "Green Power" label ? What criteria should be compulsory
Those discussions have led to several decisions. First of all, it had
been clear to all the participants that a reinforced collaboration between
NGOs was essential. The first ideas for a structure that could gather
them have been drafted. An extended ERN should be created. In order
to realise this, a group of people has been designated to study and
present a detailed scheme for this new organisation. It has also been
decided that two conferences will take place : one on "Green Power"
and the problem of labelisation, another on TEN. Another Think-Camp,
organised on the same principles, will also take in the next three years.
This new way of working (free planning, team work, etc.) has indeed
proved very efficient !
contact: (Founder ERN), +33 608 62 12 67