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European River Restoration Conference

The 5th European River Restoration Conference was from 11-13 September 2013 in Vienna, Austria. Wetlands International and our partners in European river restoration showcased inspiring examples of river restoration and brought together key policy makers and restoration practitioners to share and learn about the successes, challenges and opportunities for river restoration in Europe.

Action Description:

Ensuring a sustainable course for Europe’s rivers

Rivers in Europe are at a critical juncture. Maintaining and restoring the ecological functions of rivers in light of growing demands for water, energy and food, and increasing pressures from climate change and infrastructure development are growing challenges. At the same time, there are exciting new opportunities to achieve environmental and social policy objectives through river restoration. 

The conference featured the 1st European River Prize awarded by the International River Foundation and won by the river Rhine.

Our Involvment

In addition to playing a lead organising role, Wetlands International convened two events during the conference and CEO Jane Madgwick conducted interviews with some of the featured keynote presenters.

See our news release

Session 1 - Realising European Policy Ambitions
River restoration has enormous potential to help tackle many of Europe’s river related challenges. This session identified the key challenges to policy implementation in Europe that constrain the use of river restoration and identified how these can be overcome.
SIDE EVENT C: Launch of a river basin comunity of practice to meet European River Basin Managment Challenges
This event kicked off an initiative by five European river basins to pilot and share their progress and experiences in order to stimulate further understanding and action on river restoration. The rivers are:
  • Arpa River - Armenia
  • Irpen River, Ukraine
  • Irwell River, UK
  • Orbigo River, Spain
  • Rhone River, France

See our news release.


Action Partners: