River University 2021 – 2nd edition, Coalition Clean Baltic and Environmental Club Žvejonė invite you to Lithuania!
River Ula, Lithuania. picture @Jūratė Morkvėnaitė-Paulauskienė.
The international and open River University:
- started in Poland with its pilot in 2018 and the 1st edition in 2020.
- Its professional river education has an ambition to change the reality by creating a strong center/network of modern knowledge, linking experts and giving the opportunity to participants to learn about peculiarities of different rivers in the Baltic region.
- We provide tools to use in practice, exchange information and experience about inland waters and its impact on the Baltic Sea, to spark joint initiatives for the sake of rivers’ good condition.
- Riverine topics always reflect source-to-sea approach and relation to current trends, challenges, legislation regarding freshwaters, and free-flowing rivers : #restorenature law, UN restoration decade, Biodiversity strategy 2030, European Green Deal, national recovery plans etc.
In 2018, the River University mostly served for the purpose of gathering river experts from several transboundary basins of Poland (Odra, Vistula/Western Bug, Neman) with their counterparts from Belarus and Ukraine to discuss i.a. issues related to inland navigation and large infrastructure projects on straightening river flows in these countries. 1st edition of River University in 2020 provided general solid knowledge about healthy rivers, their benefits and threats, presented one of the most stunning rivers in Poland – Drawa river and highlighted current riverine challenges impacting the society. All these looking towards European community goals.
During the 2nd edition in 2021, we swim into Lithuania’s waters, to dive deep – finally live! – into water challenges in the next country in the Baltic region. We will get to know best practices of good water management, experience with transboundary river cooperation, also innovations and developments within sewerage system management. We can already read about flood risk management and about river barriers to remove or mitigate in the Baltic Sea Region. But this time we ask – how are the Lithuanian rivers?
Being a visitor of the largest protected area in Lithuania, crossing rivers outdoor, stepping into practical lectures in the national park, we will also ask about how to limit riverine pollution from tourism and how the connectivity of amazing Lithuanian rivers is ensured.
Checking the European background: how the situation of rivers in Europe looks like in general? A freshly given analysis CCB participated in, points out that, only Finland, amongst EU countries, is on a good track to reach Water Framework Directive (WFD) goals and legally binding EU target to return Europe’s dirty freshwaters to health by 2027. However there is still time to improve other river basin management plans during the consultations. Now is the time for other countries to make the final sprint for the rest of the European rivers! Always is the time to learn about them, their challenges related communities face, efficient ways to take care of them. That is our purpose also this time, while being in Lithuania.
We meet in one of the major national parks in Lithuania, famous for pine tree forests which hide tiny Lithuanian villages, sandy rivers and lakes. Some Lithuanian rivers are silent and shallow, others are rapid and curvy. This time we will get to know and experience one of the most spectacular ones – Ula river. Dzūkijos nacionalinis parkas iš paukščio skrydžio. Lietuvos gamta – “Dzūkijos uoga” – YouTube
HOW: mainly outdoors; lectures and presentations will be provided in the English language; helping each other with translation when needed is an element of teamwork.
WHO: We invite up to 25 participants, foreign and Lithuanian ones, those interested in inland waters, water management topics, current trends and challenges in these fields.
– On-site participation is open to participants from the Baltic Sea Region (Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Belarus and Ukraine).
– Some online lecture will be available and open to everyone.
Only vaccinated people are welcome to join us and have their costs covered by CCB. A valid (not older than 48 hrs) negative PCR test is accepted, if a vaccine is not yet available. Participants from the previous edition varied among sectors: NGO, scientists, specialists, practitioners, water-related and environmental protection institutions, business, municipalities, politics.
REGISTRATION: you can register through this link until 20th July 2021.
Our total capacity for participants is limited to 25 persons. We would like to ask you to do not book any ticket for traveling before receiving a confirmation from us for the participation to the event, thank you.
PROGRAM available here.
You can check the River University on Facebook.
The organizer of our stay in Lithuania: Jūratė Morkvėnaitė-Paulauskienė.
Ewa Leś, CCB Working Group Leader on River Basin and Wastewater Management
Originator and founder of River University/Rzeczny Uniwersytet (tested in 2018, established internationally in 2020).
A biologist by profession, but looking towards people and their perception of the environment. Co-founder of Koalicja Ratujmy Rzeki/Save The Rivers Coalition (KRR), a social initiative for the protection of natural rivers in Poland, gathering the voices of ‘river stakeholders’ into one strong tone. Member of EEB water working group, Observer of International Commission for the Protection of the Odra River against Pollution. Co-creator and coordinator of the first Water Round Table in cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Environment (2009-2011). Engaged in creating a Partnership for the Baltic initiative (2007-2011). Particularly working in areas of transboundary rivers, water stakeholders inclusion and engagement, water conflicts, water democracy building. A supporter of NVC dialogue. She comes from her two parental organizations: Society of Friends of Ina and Gowienica rivers and EkoUnia Association.
~ Let’s go with the river flow and learn from each other! ~
Funded by: Under the patronage of the European Parliament: Under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment of the Republicof Lithuania: