Project Update

Sustainable Rivers: Bridging Local and European Initiatives

The Four Rivers Fountain of Bernini in Piazza Navona was the image used by the organizers to open the “Sustainable Rivers: Bridging Local and European Initiatives” Event, jointly organized by National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Rotary Distretto 2080, Prep4Blue and BlueMissionMed as pilot to implement activities to address the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters Objectives on rivers system management and to amplify the impact from the local to Mediterranean and beyond.

The event started with the presentation of the Mission Ocean and Waters to the audience composed by local and regional authorities, representatives of National Ministries, associations of category, NGOs, students, educators, researchers, and SMEs for an audience of about 140 people attending in presence. Mrs. Claudia Pecoraro from DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, presented opportunities for community of actors in the Mission context and inspired the audience to be part of the Mission.

The focus of the discussion was on good practices for River management and on enabling condition to favor the deployment of virtuous approaches across basins and regional scale. The River Contracts model was presented by Massimo Bastiani, coordinator of Tavolo Nazionale dei Contratti di Fiume, a voluntary governance system already successful implemented in Italy. CNR is engaged in many Rivers Contract and in this context brought the experience on the activities developed for the Tiber area – as activity of the BlueMissionMed and Plastic Pirates Go Italy – in particular on the Contratto di Fiume da Castel Giubileo alla foce that is led by Città Metropolitana di Roma. During the event, the students of Liceo Scientifico Nomentano (RM) and Istituto Tecnico Tecnologico Midossi (Civita Castellana), that participated to the citizen science initiative promoted by CNR in collaboration with Legambiente and Marevivo, presented the results of the monitoring activity that they performed during the course of the past year.

After the students’ presentation, the dialogue expanded with a series of case studies from the Danube, Thames, Rio de Aveiro and Po rivers: representatives of the EU funded projects A-AAGORA, DALIA, INSPIRE, along with Thames21, provided high level example to protect biodiversity, restore and protect the quality of the rivers. The international dialogue proceeded with a roundtable discussion gathering perspectives from the Italian NGO Legambiente and international NGO OneWater, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), and with the contribution of EcoDalli and BlueMissionAA, CSAs funded by the EU to support the implementation of the Mission Ocean and Waters respectively in the Danube and Black Sea and in the Atlantic/Artic Lighthouses’ areas. The main outcomes highlighted the necessity to work systemically and to create communication channels with citizens and different actors in order to eliminate a knowledge gap and make everyone active on the issues of water protection and reduction of plastic pollution in our Ocean and Waters.

Afterwards, representatives from the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, University La Sapienza, ISPRA and ARPA Lazio presented the ecological state of the Tiber River, specifically the current legislative status, the movement of the litter present along the course of the river, how to decide the state of health of a river, and finally the systemic management of the water resource.

Ultimately, a final roundtable with local actors (Lazio Region, CdF Tevere urbano, CdF Media Valle del Tevere, Assessorato Ambiente of the Comune di Roma, Riserva Naturale Nazzano Tevere-Farfa, Autorità Distrettuale Appennino Centrale) centered the attention on the state of the art of the interventions on the Tiber between Rome and the Lazio Region, and the interventions in the Reserves.

The event proved the willingness of different stakeholders to collaborate at local, basin and European levels in order to reach the objectives of the EU Mission Ocean and Waters in a first of its kind experience!

Find the agenda here.

Article by Fedra Francocci, Elisa Conti, Gloria Consoli (CNR)