One of the aims of REFORM is to summarise and evaluate river restoration projects and related research. It is very important to share this knowledge with European water managers, so that they can be more effective and efficient in river restoration. In this process, the step from science to practice has to be set. Within the REFORM project, new and existing knowledge is disclosed, for instance through the REFORM wiki. To convert the REFORM knowledge into practise, a workshop was organised in Zutphen, The Netherlands. The workshop, which was chaired by Wim Zeeman, facilitated the discussion between scientists, water managers, and their advisors. After a series of presentations, the participants were encouraged to bring forward practical issues and questions specific for their region. Small discussion groups were formed, in which REFORM scientists and water managers could interact (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The first national stakeholder event in Zuphen, The Netherlands, featured small discussion groups with water managers and REFORM scientists. Photo: Tom Buijse.
The Workshop was introduced by Joost Buntsma, director of STOWA, The Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research. Presentations from REFORM were given by Angela Gurnell, Christian Wolter, Massimo Rinaldi, Ian Cowx, and Armin Lorenz. Other presentations were given by Nathalie Plum from the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine and Jenny Mant from the UK River Restoration Centre. All presentations were video recorded and live streamed to the STOWA website.
The formula of this event proved to be very successful. The presentations addressed the audience well and supported more detailed discussion in smaller groups, which was appreciated by the participants and the REFORM scientists alike. The event was intended to provide this type of dynamic, 2-way interaction. Not only was information from REFORM presented, but also an opportunity was offered for stakeholders to address specific practical issues and to make suggestions for the way in which river restoration knowledge has to be made available.
All presentations are available on the website of STOWA, in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, as well as a video recording (links to YouTube).
- Link to the STOWA website (in Dutch) with copies of the REFORM presentations (.ppt) and video recordings (in English) http://www.stowa.nl/nieuws___agenda/agenda/14_en_15_november__Bijeenkomst__Beek-_en_rivierherstel_over_de_grens_
- Link to the REFORM video presentations on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKAZHri1nLraiA3s4FZ3C4O40HDV7BbAB
Bas Van der Wal, the Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA)