Living Rivers Europe – Briefing paper on river connectivity targets (September 2022)

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NGOs in the Living Rivers Europe Coalition [1] are calling for strong river connectivity targets in the EU nature restoration law. With 60% of Europe’s surface waters in bad health, and over a million barriers blocking our waterways, the time to act is now.

The Living Rivers Europe Coalition calls on the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to set a binding target of restoring at least 15% of Europe’s river length to a free flowing state by 2030.

Reconnecting freshwater ecosystems is the first requirement to bring back the natural functions of rivers, lakes and wetlands across our continent. Free-flowing rivers are healthy, biodiverse, provide clean and sufficient water supply and adapt to the consequences of increasingly frequent climate change related episodes, like droughts or floods.

The EU Nature Restoration Law proposed by the European Commission in June 2022 introduces new measures and obligations to restore the health of fresh waters. In this briefing paper, Living Rivers Europe analysed the proposed framework on river connectivity  and proposes measures that will raise its objectives, ensure an efficient implementation and expand the financial support.

Living Rivers Europe - briefing paper on river connectivity targets (September 2022)


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[1] Living Rivers Europe is a coalition of five environmental and angling organisations gathering WWF’s European network, the European Anglers AllianceEuropean Environmental BureauEuropean Rivers Network, The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International.