to the website of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine.
Change in the presidency of the ICPR as of 1st January 2017
Mrs. Martine Rohn-Brossard will be the first woman in the 66 years of ICPR history to take the lead of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) on 1st January 2017. Thus, Switzerland will take over the presidency from the Netherlands and Mr. Gustaaf Borchardt who assured the presidency during 2014 to 2016.
Mrs. Martine Rohn-Brossard is deputy head of International Affairs Division at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment International Affairs at the Swiss in Berne and head of its section Europe, Trade and Development. She is a business economist and has a postgraduate degree in ecology and environmental science.
During the next 3 years she will chair the annual Plenary Sessions and further meetings of the ICPR. Mrs. Martine Rohn-Brossard comes from the French speaking part of Switzerland.
ICPR in support of worldwide cross-border water cooperation
On 29 and 30 November 2016, the president of the ICPR, Mr. Gustaaf Borchardt participated in a workshop on water diplomacy in the Mekong catchment staged in Ventiane, Laos. This will give the opportunity to exchange experience made within the Rhine basin with members of the Mekong River Commission how to resolve and avoid conflicts. The focal point will be the organisation and operation of the successful international cooperation along the Rhine. Also, on 23 November 2016, Mr. Borchardt participated in a conference on the Dead Sea concerning the Lower Jordan river organised by the environmental organisation EcoPeace. On this occasion, he shared experience made along the Rhine with participants coming from Israel, Palestine and Jordania.
ICPR in support of worldwide exchange of information on transboundary water cooperation
Together with the German Head of Delegation, Mrs. Heide Jekel, the President of the ICPR, Mr. Gustaaf Borchardt, will be participating in a workshop on “Exchange of experience on transboundary water cooperation and regional water diplomacy” staged in Tehran 31 October and 1 November 2016.
Experience made along the Rhine and other great European rivers will be exchanged with participants from Iran. Based on examples, different manners of coordinating competing interests of uses and possible consensual solutions for conflicts concerning water resources will be indicated.
In May and September 2016, two workshops at Ministers’ level have been staged in Brussels and Beijing within the CCICED (China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development), during which the President of the ICPR reported on experience made within the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine existing since 1950. In particular, the step-by-step approach first improving water quality before then dealing with ecological issues and water management were met with great interest. Thus, integrated water management as precursor for European directives on water-related issues has been developed within the ICPR. The organisation and operation of ICPR cooperation were another focal point of the exchange of experience.
ICPR-Contribution: Opening of the EDF Hydro Power Plant K
ICPR Contribution during the Opening of the EDF-Hydro Power Plant K in Kembs (20 October 2016)
During the formal opening of the new EDF hydro power plant K in Kembs on 20 October 2016, the President of the ICPR, Mr. Gustaaf Borchardt, praised the many ecological enhancements of the Old Rhine which, since 2010, concern the distinct increase of residual water flow in the Old Rhine, a new fish passage for upstream fish migration into the Grand Canal d’Alsace and protection devices for downstream fish migration into an oxbow lake and the Old Rhine, 100 ha of reactivated floodplain areas on the islands in the Rhine and the partial restoration of the natural bedload regime in the Old Rhine.
In this connection, he also addressed the issue of the importance of the continuity of the Rhine for fish from the outlet into the North Sea until Basel and mentioned the fish passages already constructed at Iffezheim (2000), Gambsheim (2006) and Strasbourg, which was officially opened in May 2016. The fish passage at Gerstheim is under construction and will be functional in 2018. Presently, an ICPR working group is looking into the technical possibilities for also equipping the remaining hydro power plants on the Upper Rhine at Rhinau, Marckolsheim and Vogelgrün with ecologically sustainable fish passages. As the President of the ICPR clearly indicated to EDF in his speech, the EDF proposal to adopt a system consisting of catching fish and transporting them by boat is not met with approval by all states in the Rhine catchment. As already underlined during several conferences of Rhine-ministers, for their reproduction, salmon must be able to reach their home rivers by themselves.
Press conference on 13 October 2016
International and national water protection along the Rhine
“30 years after Sandoz”
Where are we today and what remains to be done?
Considerable investments into environmental protection and water protection triggered by the Sandoz warehouse fire 30 years ago have shown that it is possible to turn the former sewer Rhine into a largely clean river. Worldwide, the Rhine with its many uses and high industrial density on its banks has become an example for this development. Countless visitors from Asia, Africa, Middle and South America and invitations to participate in environmental congresses all over the world may serve as a proof.
ICPR - innovative assessment tool concerning the effectiveness of flood prevention measures
A new ICPR tool is able to produce a quantitative proof of the effectiveness of flood prevention measures along the Rhine. Calculations show that the ambitious target defined in the Action Plan on Floods in 1998, to reduce flood risk by 25 % between 1995 and 2020 will be achieved with the measures already taken and those planned until 2020. This tool might also be of interest to other river basin commissions. Upon request, the ICPR will make the recently developed tool and the methods it is based on available to other states, resp. their authorities or scientific organisations.
Workshop on "Downstream Fish Migration"
On 6-7 October 2016 an international workshop on “Downstream Fish Migration” took place at Roermond (NL). Main themes of the workshop were screens & bypasses, fish guidance techniques and management for hydropower stations, lowering mortality by innovative turbine design and management, policy and legislation for hydropower, knowledge dissemination, telemetry monitoring techniques, and criteria to define efficiency.
The presentations can now be downloaded here.
ICPR at the kick-off meeting of the 2nd World Fish Migration Day in Washington
The World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) takes place on 21 May 2016 for the second time. The focus is on the ecological continuity of rivers for migratory fish. 1500 organisations featuring more than 400 events are involved and are drawing attention to Salmon & Co. And ICPR is taking part! The chairman of ICPR, Gustaaf Borchardt, will celebrate the start of the 2nd WFMD on 20 May 2016 in Washington, together with other renowned personalities. He will talk about the success concerning the return of the salmon in the Rhine. An important milestone was reached: The 3rd fish way of the Upper Rhine at the barrage in Strasbourg is officially inaugurated on 19 May 2016.
Nine states – one river basin.
For the benefit of the Rhine and of all of its tributaries the members of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Netherlands and the European Commission successfully co-operate with Austria, Liechtenstein, the Belgian region of Wallonia and Italy. Focal points of work are sustainable development of the Rhine, its alluvial areas and the good state of all waters in the watershed.
New: Climate change adaptation strategy
Climate change adaptation strategy for the Rhine catchment is published
Record-breaking year 2015: More than 150 upstream migrating salmon observed in Iffezheim - Upstream fish migration into Switzerland continues to be an important ICPR issue
The fish passage in Iffezheim which was reopened end 2013 clearly shows the encouraging development of migratory fish in the Rhine. Between January and the beginning of June 2015, more than 150 salmon, 30 allice shad and 120 sea lamprey were counted, which is considerably more than during the previous years! These results are encouraging and motivating at the same time and support the determination on the French side to restore river continuity of the entire Upper Rhine – at the Strasbourg barrage (fish passage will soon start operating) and at Gerstheim (start of fish passage construction is imminent) as well as at Rhinau, Marckolsheim and Vogelgrün. The ICPR will now create a project group on this issue.
ICPR wins prestigious Thiess International Riverprize
Worldwide reward for decades of international cooperation in Rhine protection!
On 16 September 2014 the ICPR was awarded the Thiess International Riverprize 2014 in Canberra (Australia). During a gala dinner, the price was handed over to the President of the ICPR, Mr. Gustaaf Borchardt and its deputy manager, Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig.
What were the reasons for the co-operation? Which steps and events proved to be decisive? Worldwide, the ICPR develops to be a model for environmental and water protection which numerous organizations take as an example. The secretariat has drafted some new pages concerning the ICPR success history. We would be grateful for any questions or suggestions you might have.
The Rhine and its catchment
This report presents an overview over ecological improvement along the River Rhine and its present chemical water quality. Furthermore, it contains a survey of the implementation of the Action Plan on Floods.
During the last years, the water quality of the Rhine and of many of its tributaries has been distinctly improved by reducing the inputs of pollutants and nutrients of industrial and municipal origin. However, micro-pollutants are a new challenge for water protection.
240. Strategy towards Avoiding and Reducing Micropollutants of Diffuse Origin Based on the Example of Plant Protection Products
This document is only available in German, French and Dutch.
This text ist only available in German, French und Dutch.
In the Plenary Session, the President of the ICPR annually reports on the most important activities of the Commission...
To determine the effects of measures on flood risk the ICPR has developed a method which was integrated into a...
236. Synthesis report « Assessment of flood risk reduction (APF) according to the types of measures and risk objects covered by the FD”
A new ICPR tool is able to produce a quantitative proof of the effectiveness of flood prevention measures along the...
International and national water protection along the Rhine “30 years after Sandoz” Where are we today and what remains to be done?
Considerable investments into environmental protection and water protection triggered by the Sandoz warehouse fire 30 years ago have shown that it is possible to turn the former sewer Rhine into a largely clean river. Worldwide, the Rhine with its many uses and high industrial density on its banks has become an example for this development. Countless visitors from Asia, Africa, Middle and South America and invitations to participate in environmental congresses all over the world may serve as a proof. Koblenz, 13 October 2016During a press conference staged on the NRW-laboratory ship Max Prüss in Koblenz, the location of the ICPR head office, the International...
A new ICPR tool is able to produce a quantitative proof of the effectiveness of flood prevention measures along the Rhine. Calculations show that the ambitious target defined in the Action Plan on Floods in 1998, to reduce flood risk by 25 % between 1995 and 2020 will be achieved with the measures already taken and those planned until 2020. This tool might also be of interest to other river basin commissions. Upon request, the ICPR will make the recently developed tool and the methods it is based on available to other states, resp. their authorities or scientific organisations.There are further steps towards ecological river continuity: For the first time, in...