Having in mind that currently 60% of our European rivers and lakes are in poor condition – there is still a lot to improve, also for our health & safety. What can we do and how can we support this process? The River University helped to think and find out common answer. We have started from Poland as the initiator and first host country [*], then we will move around other countries in the Baltic Sea region in the upcoming years.
Recently, in Poland, the National Surface Water Renaturalisation Program was formed and its manual released. Now it’s time for its implementation. Based on the European Commission’s decision in June 2020, the EU Water Framework Directive will not be revised, so the second challenge is reaching a “Good Environmental Status” for all European waters by 2027.
Moreover, on October 24th, the last day of our River University, was celebrated the “World Fish Migration Day”, raising awareness on the importance of rivers´ connectivity and migratory fish. These three topics were highlighted and opened more deeply the doors of riverine knowledge, with those who live nearby and work with rivers.
To compensate for the missing field trip originally planned during River University, we made a short movie to show the restoration of Drawa river (Poland), published on the occasion of the World Fish Migration Day in CCB´s social media channels. Link to the video on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/uvBYd2KTaxI
Program scope – River University 2020, Poland
~ WHY do we need to protect rivers: rivers life and functioning, riverine ecosystem services and its benefits for people, National Surface Water Renaturalisation Program in Poland and its goals.
~ WHAT tools do we have to protect rivers in Poland and in Europe? How citizens can help and support? How efficient is transboundary cooperation in this field? What is the role of institutions and authorities? Institutional responsibility & efficiency in caring about our common resource – what needs to be improved? Agriculture and floods as bold examples of what is the future in terms of our health & safety depending on riverine wellness? What are modern and water/river-friendly development directions?
~ HOW to make the right steps happen – how can we implement tools and strategies to protect our rivers? Field trip to a best practice example on river renaturalization – Drawa river LIFE project and visit to a natural spawning ground of salmonids.
~ WHO needs to be committed to save our rivers? Multi stakeholder engagement/approach; finally – what is a river without fish? Let the fish make love and people enjoy the rivers at their best!
Important to read
- [*] Due to new Covid-19 restrictions in Poland, the 1st edition of CCB River University was held only online.
- Simultaneous translations (EN/PL) have been provided during the lectures.
A variety of river stakeholders were invited, such as local people, institutions, media, anglers, farmers, decision makers, scientists, and administration, not only from Poland but from all the Baltic Sea countries.
Date & Place
Date: 20-24 October 2020
Read the list of lecturers and their biographies here.
DAY 1 – Playlist with intro, all lectures and Q&A sessions on CCB YouTube channel
- HEALTHY RIVERS: THE ROLE OF INSTREAM WOOD AND SELFRESTORATION PROCESSES – Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/DNedmdKPlTE
- OUR RIVERINE ECOSYSTEMS BENEFITS AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IMPORTANCE – Mateusz Grygoruk
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/yypfWRqj3m0
- POLISH NATIONAL SURFACE WATER RENATURALISATION PROGRAM – Ilona Biedroń
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/_s1-WP6ajvk
- A CURE FOR POLISH RIVERS’ DISEASE – A QUARANTINE NEEDED FOR CHANNELIZING AND DAMMING RIVERS – Józef Jeleński
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/_WAj0tgHoHQ
DAY 2 – Playlist with intro, all lectures and Q&A sessions on CCB YouTube channel
- MYSTERIOUS DRAWA RIVER – RETURN TO THE BALTIC SALMON RIVERS – Artur Furdyna
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/SCWjL9LTc14
- HOW TO HELP OURSELVES AND RIVERS – AGRICULTURE_Maria S._River University 2020 – Maria Staniszewska
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/jDEJT4pTthA
- HOW INVASIVE SPECIES DEGRADE OUR RIVERS AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT PRACTICALLY? – Rafał Maciaszek
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/E3dVK4ICIIU
- CIVIL INTERVENTIONS – WHAT TO DO WHEN THE SEWAGE FLOWS INTO THE RIVER – Marek Sołtysiak
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/WeV2BpBuA44
DAY 3 – Playlist with intro, all lectures and Q&A sessions on CCB YouTube channel
- HYDROPOWER ENERGY: GOOD FOR CLIMATE BUT NOT “GREEN” ENERGY? – Lennart Gladh
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/OdRSoDr9VI4
- WHAT DO WE EXPECT OUR RIVERS TO BE LIKE – IS SUSTAINABLE INLAND NAVIGATION POSSIBLE AT ALL? – Tobias Schäfer
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/ns_y8aq1Uvk
- RECONNECTING EUROPEAN RIVERS: WHO IS DOING A GOOD JOB? THE REAL SITUATION OF GOVERNMENTS’ EFFORTS TO IMPROVE OUR FUTURE – Pao Fernández Garrido
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel:
- INTERACTIVE SIMULATION GAME “IF I WERE A DECISION MAKER” INTRODUCTION. ECOSYSTEM-BASED (EBA) PLANNING – Andrei Lappo, Larisa Danilova
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel:
- THE STORY OF LIVING RIVER- Michał Zygmunt
Link to the recording on CCB YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/cLz62Q1aTQk
Live screening of videos about migratory fish and rivers (21 October, CCB FB page): https://fb.watch/1qhJDTlXpv/
Picture from the opening session:
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! ~
Under the patronage of the European Parliament and the European Commission – regional representation in Poland: