to the website of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine.

April 21, 2018 is World Fish Migration Day!

On the occasion of this global Action Day, many events are organized under the slogan “Connecting Fish, Rivers and People” and aim at increasing awareness for the importance of an ecological network of waters for migratory fish such as salmon and eel. Visitors’ centres in the Rhine catchment will equally take part in this event. On this occasion, the ICPR will present its programme on restoring river continuity of the Rhine and its tributaries in the adjacent Danube catchment.

Water Action Day within the COP23

Within the COP23 in Bonn , an international „Water Action Day“ was staged on 10 November 2017.
Together with many other representatives of Governments and international organizations and in the name of the ICPR, the president of the ICPR, Mrs. Martine Rohn-Brassard signed the international declaration “Nature-Based Solustions for Water Management under Climate Change” (see photos).  Measures aimed at increasing water retention in the entire catchment, preserving and extending floodplains, relocating dikes, re-naturing, extensifying and creating retention basins serve to improve water ecology, flood prevention and reduce adverse impacts of climate change at the same time (see also ICPR- Climate change adaptation strategy).

Three Rhine commissions organize a low flows symposium

The international symposium „Low flows in the Rhine catchment” took place on September 20-21, 2017 in Basel. The symposium has been jointly organized by three “Rhine commissions”, the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine basin (CHR), the ICPR and the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR), together with the support of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

More information about the symposium as well as the results can be consulted here.

Gerstheim: the track is soon clear for migratory fish!

Construction work at the new fish passage at Gerstheim on the Upper Rhine is progressing (Photo EDF). This fish bypass will go operational in 2018. The fish passage at the Strasbourg barrage has been working since 2016, even though different optimisations are still being implemented.  The fish passages in Strasbourg and Gerstheim will open the access to the spawning habitats (among others for salmon) in the Elz-Dreisam system (region Freiburg) via the Leopoldskanal, once the three sills in the loops of the Old Rhine at Gerstheim and Rhinau will enable upstream migration in 2018. Recent counts show that the fish passages located at Iffezheim (since 2000) and Gambsheim (since 2006) further downstream in the main stream of the Rhine are well accepted: By September 2017, more than 150 upstream migrating salmon were registered at Iffezheim and 100 at Gambsheim.  So far, in 2017, more than 100 salmon have migrated upstream the R. Sieg flowing into the Rhine near Bonn.

Exchange of information of the President of the ICPR with NGOs admitted to the ICPR as observers

On 28 September 2017, the annual meeting of the President, Mrs. Martine Rohn-Brossard with the NGOs admitted to the ICPR as observers was staged in Koblenz. The focal point of discussions was an eventual new programme for the future work of the ICPR beyond 2020. The NGOs present complimented on the good cooperation, in particular concerning important issues such as the future approach to micro-pollutants, river continuity, flood prevention and micro plastics, which should be stronger emphasised.

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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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246. Micropollutants in the Rhine Catchment Area Summary 2017

Since 2008, the ICPR has compiled information regarding the relevance of various micropollutants in the Rhine...


245. Report of the President of the ICPR 2017

In the Plenary Session, the President of the ICPR annually reports on the most important activities of the...


244. Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine -Reports 2016-

The Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine (WAP) distinguishes between warnings, information and search reports. The...


242. List of Rhine substances 2017

The list of Rhine substances which is updated every three years determines the substances to be measured...


241. Biology Monitoring Programme for the Rhine 2018/2019

The Rhine Monitoring Programme Biology 2018 /2019 records the joint monitoring on the main stream of the Rhine...

press releases

ICPR - The Rhine for everyone!

How is the Rhine today? The general public is provided with appropriate information in the new ICPR brochure “Rhine for Everyone”. The ICPR aims at sensitising citizens in the entire international catchment for the Rhine as an important lifeline for man and nature The objective is to attract attention to the protection of waters and resources, the required ecological network for migratory fish, intact migration routes between the Rhine and the North Sea/Atlantic necessary for their life cycle as well as the importance of alluvial areas for floods and low waters. The ICPR equally provides information material for...

press releases

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 2016 During a press conference staged on the NRW-laboratory ship Max Prüss in Koblenz, the...

Flood prevention

2019 – International Year of the Salmon

Thanks to the initiative of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) and of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) the year 2019 is to be nominated International Year of the Salmon (IYS). Public and political awareness for the salmon and its preservation and sustainable use will thus be hightened. Big international events on this issue are planned and further national or regional initiatives or events are expressedly wanted for this IYS (please also see

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