ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Workshop on water structure measures along the Rhine: best practice?

24/25 April 2008, CCNR, Strasbourg
Towards achieving a balancing of interests between water ecology and navigation

The balance of the implementation of the ICPR programme "Rhine 2020" drawn in 2005 has shown that the target of "Increasing the structural diversity along the main stream of the Rhine" has not been achieved.

The Water Framework directive (WFD) equally aims at improving water structure. According to the WFD, the Rhine and all of its major tributaries have been classified as heavily modified. That means that the good ecological potential is to be achieved. As these waters are at the same time important shipping lanes, close cooperation is required with the authorities in charge of maintaining the shipping lanes. What are "best practice" measures aimed at water structure, maintenance of waters and river training to be like from a point of view of navigation and aquatic ecology? This workshop was designed to jointly and constructively balance the interest of aquatic ecology and navigation. Recommendations for "best-practice" measures issued by the ICPR and the CCNR have been prepared in small groups, where requirements were presented and discussed.

Therefore, the workshop concentrated on precise practical examples, e.g. concerning the environmentally compatible design of river banks. The workshop was supposed to extend the mutual awareness of problems, in order to progress on the way towards achieving a balance between use and protection. The languages of the workshop were German, French and Dutch.

This workshop addressed experts of the administrations concerned by water protection, nature protection, navigation of the countries in the Rhine watershed, in particular those in charge of extending and maintaining shipping lanes, NGOs interested and representatives of other river commissions (in charge of protection and navigation).