Welcome editorial by the REFORM Coordinator

Dear reader,

We are pleased to present the second REFORM newsletter and keep you informed on the progress of our project and on other connected developments. At the moment, more than 100 colleagues have subscribed to receive our newsletters automatically. If you do not yet receive our newsletter automatically and are interested, then please visit our home page (www.reformrivers.eu), where you can subscribe. Of course, we always appreciate it when you forward our newsletter to interested colleagues.

I first would like to update you on the progress of REFORM and its upcoming events. In September 2012 our Polish partner, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, hosted the second all-partner meeting in Goniądz, on the banks of the famous and beautiful Biebrza River. REFORM has such meetings once a year, and they are essential to discuss progress and plans as well as harmonise the approaches between the various work packages. Seventy people participated, all of whom were partners or members of the Advisory Board. The input of the Advisory Board is very much appreciated, as they give excellent feedback from both practitioner’s and scientist’s perspectives. On 26 and 27 February 2013, REFORM will be organising a stakeholder workshop on hydromorphological degradation and river restoration in Brussels. More information about this workshop can be found in this newsletter.

Participants of the REFORM’s 2nd all-partner meeting. Photo: Tom Buijse.

In the coming six months, REFORM will deliver all of its interim results. These results are scheduled to become available in time to support the implementation of the second River Basin Management Plans. These are of course not the final results that REFORM will produce but in-depth reviews of existing studies. In our view, these compilations are highly important because too much important knowledge is unfortunately very difficult to trace.

We hope our contribution will help make this information more readily accessible. In this issue you will find a summary of one of these results: the review of hydromorphological and ecological assessment methods. The report is nearly ready and will be made available through the website. Other upcoming results will include reviews of the effects of pressures on hydromorphology, reviews of the ecological responses to hydromorphological degradation and restoration, and the preliminary version of our hydromorphological assessment framework. The REFORM wiki will be online in early 2013. This will be our open-access knowledge management system to make all our results easily accessible to a wide audience.

The Biebrza River and its floodplains. Photo: Tom Buijse.

As mentioned in our first newsletter, it is our ambition to interview a key person on river restoration and river studies in Europe for each newsletter. For this issue we have interviewed Mr. Bart Fokkens, Chair of the European River Restoration Centre (ECRR) and member of the International River Prize Committee. In 2013 the first European River Prize will be awarded during the European River Restoration Conference (Vienna, September 2013). Bart Fokkens is also the chair of the advisory board of the LIFE+ RESTORE project. This LIFE+ information and communication project brings together stakeholders involved in river restoration through numerous events. Toni Scarr, RESTORE’s project manager, introduces the project to you in more detail. The ECRR, LIFE+ RESTORE, and REFORM cooperate closely with each other to support knowledge development and exchange on river restoration across Europe. The last external contribution is made by Huib de Vriend, the former scientific director of Deltares and member of REFORM’s internal quality assurance. He introduces the ‘Building with Nature’ project. The project develops cost-effective and sustainable solutions using real-life eco-engineering approaches, exploiting synergy opportunities such as between flood protection and ecosystem restoration.

We continue to present case studies from REFORM. The case studies within REFORM are meant to compare assessment methods for the success of river restoration and to investigate the interaction between restored reaches and the wider catchment. The next case is the regulation and restoration of the River Regge in the Netherlands. The Regge is one of the major tributaries of the transboundary River Vecht. The final contribution in our 2nd newsletter is an impression of the 9th Ecohydraulics conference “Water is the source of everything” and its relevance for REFORM. The conference was organised in Vienna in September 2012 by our partner University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).

Please let us know if you would like to use our website or newsletter to announce an event or present a relevant study or report. Contact me or any of the other REFORM partners if you would like to explore the opportunity to cooperate or have questions or recommendations.

On behalf of the REFORM team,

 

Tom Buijse

REFORM Coordinator

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