ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

The Rhine in the triangle of sustainability

The development of the Rhine ecosystem is following the overall environmental concept of sustainability and integrates ecological, economic and social issues.

A healthy Rhine ecosystem and considerate treatment of its resources are prerequisites for a long term stable economical and social development. The nature of the Rhine system, its alluvial areas and their functions must be preserved and the basis of livelihood of today’s and future generations are to be secured.

Particular attention is paid to

  • preserving and improving Rhine water quality and thus also that of suspended matter, sediments and groundwater,
  • protection of the populations of organisms and of species diversity and reduction of the pollutant contents in organisms;
  • preserve, improve and restore natural functions of running water; secure runoff conditions taking into account natural movement of bed load and enhancing interactions between river, groundwater and alluvial areas; preserve, protect and reactivate alluvial areas as natural floodplains;
  • preserve, improve and restore as natural habitats as possible for wild fauna and flora in water, in the riverbed and on the banks as well as in nearby areas, including improvement of habitat conditions for fish and restore unhindered migration;
  • secure an ecologically compatible and rational handling of water reserves;
  • take into account ecological requirements within technical training measures along the water body, e.g. within flood protection, navigation and use of hydropower.