The hardworking Riverwalkers didn’t just stop after their epic journey…on no!, they continued to follow their mission to promote and protect free-flowing rivers! From September 13 – 14, ten RW 2017 participants met up in Innsbruck to join the “Flussdialog Inn” (www.flussdialog-inn.org) at the University of Innsbruck. WWF-Austria, the main organizers of the event brought together stakeholders from industry, farming, the fishing community, tourism and government to discuss their interests with river conservation experts. They focused on topics such as freshwater ecology and flood protection with the hopes of developing an official transnational river management plan for the Inn.
The Riverwalkers were invited to join the talks since this year’s walk helped to promote the idea of the “Flussdialog” and the vision of a joint, transnational river management plan for the Inn. The Riverwalk 2017 film was premiered in front of 100 people and was shown on the big screen as the kick-off for the final “World Café”-session about economic interests, energy production, river conservation and flood protection. The audience finally arrived at the conclusion that it should be in the interest of all parties to find a balance between industrial use, agricultural activities and river conservation. Conservation-based flood management should be in the interest of the public just like other infrastructure projects such as road or railway construction. It is vital for the three countries to acquire land to allow the river to spread out and slow down, promote the value of revitalization projects and thus help to reduce damage due to severe floods. This could actually help to reduce the financial burden the government has to pay for reconstruction of houses and infrastructure.
And that was it! We close chapter 4 of the Riverwalk saga and we hope that you enjoyed reading the blog and going through the pictures. And if you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out the amazing documentary: Riverwalk 2017 – Walk the Inn!
Credits to Elisabeth Schwarzkogler, she has done an amazing job!
Also check out the Riverwalk films from 2014, 2015 & 2016!