Europe comes together to highlight the importance of its rivers and
INLAND WATERWAYS: The potential of the thousands of miles of canals and rivers in Europe is the subject of a series of Masterclasses being held in Dublin on 14 and 15 September 2011.
The network of canals and rivers stretches across the Continent from the North Sea to the Black Sea and from the Mediterranean to the Baltic and were once central to the economic growth of Europe through the transport of goods and raw materials.
The Masterclasses will focus on the multi-functional role of canals and rivers today, in which they are also the focal points for tourism and the regeneration of urban and rural communities. As well as supporting numerous businesses and thousands of jobs, Europe’s inland waterways have an increasing role to play in the global fight against climate change.
The Masterclasses are also an important milestone in the European Union Interreg IVC project Waterways Forward, which addresses the challenges faced by regional waterways, particularly in terms of how they can be better managed and developed in the future.
Experts in the fields of governance will help link good practices identified by the project’s partners from waterway organisations across Europe, assessing how these can be taken a stage further, incorporated into regional policies and linked to future funding schemes.
At the same time, experts in environmental and climate change issues will address these topics and will conclude which are the most important issues that Waterways Forward will include in its policy recommendations to the EU’s funders, policy makers and legislators.
Glenn Millar, economic development manager, British Waterways, comments:
“The Masterclasses are a key stage in the Waterways Forward project,” said Glenn Millar, British Waterways economic development manager. “The work carried out so far to identify good practice in various areas of waterway management will be drawn together in order for us to home in on the important issues we’ll be pressing European funders and policy makers about.”
With this narrower focus, he added, we feel the EU will take note of the important work we’ve carried out and consider our recommendations in future policies, funding and legislation.
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