In the German city of Koblenz, located at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Moselle, the IUCN BRIDGE team conducted a field study to the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine.
The visit was part of the BRIDGE Global Coordination Meeting which took place in Bonn from 4-8 April 2016. Colleagues from the Asian, African, South and Meso-American IUCN offices, as well as the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) and Global Water Programme, were able to spend one day outside the ELC offices and meet with staff from the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) to learn and share lessons about transboundary water governance.
IUCN staff had the opportunity to share experiences with Dr. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, the Executive Secretary of the ICPR. Discussions revealed that no matter which river basin, including the Rhine, many common issues affect transboundary water management, such as water quality control, trust among riparian countries, and stakeholder engagement, amongst others.
Founded in 1950, the ICPR is the institutional framework for the management of the Rhine basin, on the basis of the Convention on the Protection of the Rhine. Its members are Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands as well as Luxemburg and the European Union. The international staff of the permanent secretariat supports the institution in implementing the EU Water Directives.
“After 65 years of cooperation, we have been very successful. The quality of the river Rhine has been improved and the reintroduction of salmon is ongoing. Some important issues must still be addressed such as river micro-pollutions and we will continue our cooperation based on trust and transparency’’ said Dr. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, Executive Secretary of the ICPR.
BRIDGE and ICPR will continue their sharing and learning exchange in their joint effort to strengthen effective water governance at river basin level. A video was also shot during the field visit, and is expected to be available shortly for wider dissemination.
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