Rivers rank among the most threatened ecosystems in the world, but also among the most valuable to society. Therefore, a large amount of funding is made available for restoration programmes. Conflict over water is not only one of the most widespread global stressors, but can also have an impact on nature and people. For centuries, dams and weirs have been built to control floods, improve navigation, provide supply for drinking water or irrigation, create or enhance recreation opportunities, as well as a means for hydropower production. However, these dams and weirs also fragment the river systems, which is especially evident in Europe.

One of the major challenges to achieving a good ecological status of European rivers under the Water Framework Directive is to reduce the fragmentation of stream habitats caused by these man-made barriers, many of which are no longer in or of use. Improving stream connectivity, therefore, has been flagged as one of the priorities for more efficient stream restoration.

For such improvement measures, it is important to consider the challenges and opportunities of both, the ecological aspects as well as the benefits that dams provide for society. This event, held on June 29th, will explore the tensions caused by the need to draw water and generate hydropower from European Rivers and the impacts dams and other barriers have on ecosystems and habitats, as well as the way novel technologies and adaptive management can help restore stream connectivity in more efficient ways.

AMBER and FIThydro event: Smart Ways to Improve Connectivity
National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal | Monday, 29th June 2020

Provisional Program

08:30 - 10:00 Registration & grab a coffee
10:00 - 10:15 Welcome
Two speakers*
10:15 - 10:55 Keynote talk
EC Commissioner*
11:00 - 12:30 Setting the scene: the need to reconnect rivers
11:00 - 11:20 The Extent of River Fragmentation in Europe - the AMBER barrier Atlas
Wouter van de Bund and Barbara Belletti
11:20 - 11:40 Uses and impacts of river barriers in Europe
Paul Kemp / Jim Kerr and Piotr Parasiewicz*
11:40 - 12:00 Public perceptions & citizen participation
Pedro Eira Leitão and Rosa Olivo del Amo
12:00 - 12:20 Dialogue and discussion
Facilitated discussion with all speakers
(Facilitators: Arjan Berkhuysen and Sara Barrento)
12:30 - 14:00  Lunch break
14:00 – 15:00 Innovation: tools & solutions
14:00 - 14:20 Decision support tools for better Barrier Management
Jessie O'Hanley and Ian Cowx
14:20 - 14:40 Fish friendly solutions to mitigate barrier impacts
Christian Wolter and Martyn Lucas*
14:40 - 15:00 Dialogue and Discussion
Facilitated discussion with all speakers
(Facilitators: Arjan Berkhuysen and Sara Barrento)
15:00 - 16:00 Application: a framework for reconnecting Europe's rivers
15:00 - 15:20 Connectivity in the Water Framework Directive
EC Environment Officer*  
15:20 - 15:40 Lessons learned, outlook & recommendations: Blue Rivers
Peter Rutschmann, Carlos Garcia de Leaniz and Oskar Roos*
15:40 - 16:00 Dialogue and Discussion
Facilitated discussion with all speakers
(Facilitators: Arjan Berkhuysen and Sara Barrento)
16:00 - 16:30  Coffee break
16:30 - 18:00  Documentary | Durienses: the Endemic Species of the River Douro
18:00 - 23:00  Social event | BBQ and DJ**

*To be confirmed
**BBQ entrance fee - 10 €

More information about the H2020 projects:     &

Carlos Garcia de Leaniz  (AMBER) & Peter Rutschmann (FIThydro)

Project Coordinators

Note: If you intend to participate in the AMBER & FITHYDRO Event only, please use the link to register and select the option "AMBER&FITHYDRO Event only". No Fee is applicable to this event and registration is possible without registration for Fish Passage 2020.