Green week presentation eu rivers - Chris Baker

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Richer river environments through
restoration: policy opportunities and
challenges

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Green week presentation eu rivers - Chris Baker

  1. 1. Richer river environments through restoration: policy opportunities and challengesChris Baker, Head of Strategy and programme Wetlands and Water Resources22nd May 2012
  2. 2. Restoration • Ecological river restoration refers to a  large variety of measures aiming at  restoring the natural state and  functioning of the river and the riverine  environment. • Ecological River Restoration is an integral  part of sustainable water management  • River Restoration is eco‐system based 
  3. 3. Why is river restoration relevant and important now?• Increased pollution• Water shortages• Increased disaster risk• Ecosystem services provide options• River Restoration is a cross‐cutting tool  – Sustainable – Cost effective – Multiple benefits are possible
  4. 4. Existing policy environmentRestoration drivers• Water Framework Directive and Flood Risk Management Directive – WFD Programme of measures  – Flood risk management planning  – But, limited use of River restoration as a tool• Habitats Directive – Conservation and restoration of ecosystems – Focus on biodiversity rich areas – Important driver of restoration Restoration Delivery• Supporting delivery of river restoration – E.g. Nitrates Directive, CAP
  5. 5. Typical river restoration characteristics• Biodiversity focus• Limited size and scope• Single policy goals• Regionally focused on west and north• ‘Nice to do’ ‐ not a mainstream water  management option
  6. 6. Innovative river restoration• Landscape scale / multi‐ reach / catchment• Multiple benefits• Complement water  management objectives• Complex planning and land  management• Resource and time intensive• Regional bias to west
  7. 7. Case: Lower Rhine River An integrated landscape approach Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands• Socio-economic value• Ecological value• Aesthetic/ cultural value• Sustainability
  8. 8. Agri-Environment review• Agricultural policy can be a means to deliver river  restoration. E.g.  – Buffer zones  – Re‐flooding floodplains• Greening of farmer payments – link to  environmental outcomes• Cross compliance to the WFD
  9. 9. EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy• 2020 headline target• “Halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation  of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and  restoring them…”• TARGET 2: MAINTAIN AND RESTORE ECOSYSTEMS  AND THEIR SERVICES – By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained  and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and  restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems – Action 6: Set priorities to restore and promote the use of  green infrastructure
  10. 10. Green Infrastructure• Development of Green Infrastructure Strategy• Green Infrastructure Working Group• Strategically planned and delivered network of high quality green  spaces and other environmental features• Multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of  benefits and services• River restoration builds green infrastructure (WWF 2011)
  11. 11. Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s Water Resources• Problem 3: Land use impacts and in particular agricultures  impacts threaten water  quality and quantity across much  of Europe and deregulate water flow increasing water  scarcity and flood risks.  – Guidance clearly defining a EU framework for green infrastructures – Develop guidance for integrated water – land‐use management – Enhance scope of SEA• Problem 9: Costs and benefits of inaction and of water  related measures are not properly understood or  quantified – A methodology for the calculation of costs and benefits that  includes environmental resource and ecosystem services costs
  12. 12. Challenges • Policy cross‐compliance • Policy implementation – Incentivisation – Planning  – Target setting – Capacity – Knowledge and know‐ how
  13. 13. REFORM Develop and improve  instruments and guidelines  that enlarge the success and  cost‐effectiveness of  restoration and mitigation  measures to achieve the www.reformrivers.eu ecological objectives of the  WFD
  14. 14. RESTORE and ECRR
  15. 15. Thanks! www.wetlands.orgwww.restorerivers.eu

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