What is Riverwalk all about?
“Riverwalk” is a powerful life-changing experience for young people who want to discover and protect rivers and have an intense cross-cultural experience but it is also a project that sends a clear message: while there is a need for renewable energy, it cannot come at all costs. With the number of free-flowing, wild rivers in Europe dwindling, it is critical to protect the most intact and ecologically important ones left.
2018 marks the 5th year of Riverwalk!
This year will be especially unique in that there will be at least 2 official Riverwalks. One will take place in Germany and the other will take place in Austria along the Kamp river.
More on the the Austrian Riverwalk 2018:
The Riverwalk 2018 – in Austria will bring together 15 young adults to hike and bike for two weeks all the way from the spring to the mouth of the Kamp River.
The Kamp River is situated in the charming Waldviertel region and boasts some of the last wild spots to explore in the area.
This year is also unique because of the hot political climate that rivers in Europe and here in Austria are facing!
Particularly the Kamp river is embattled in a conflict between civil society and environmental, outdoor (fishing, etc.) NGOs and the energy concern EVN that wants to build a new power plant on the river. Find out more here: http://lebendiger-kamp.at.
But an even bigger issue is the current political situation around the EU’s water legislation – called the “Water Framework Directive.” This important piece of legislation sets high standards for water resources and ecosystem protection and it is in threat by special interests who would like to see it “watered down” (sorry for the pun). WWF and other European organizations have started a campaign called, Living Rivers Europe, at the national and EU-levels to maintain the law and make it better. During the Riverwalk, the group will meet experts and will learn about what it’s all about and how the public can get active.
Overall, Riverwalk’s objectives are to develop participants’ personal connection to nature and rivers, explore topics of renewable energy, nature conservation and sustainability as well as develop competences such as leadership, team building, project management and active citizenship. At the same time, participants are invited to learn how to live and work together with youth from different backgrounds, resolve conflicts in a productive manner, and co-create a supportive, participatory, open-minded, communicative atmosphere and thus improve inter cultural understanding.
Riverwalk targets motivated young adults/leaders (15-30 years old), and combines action and activism, fun and outdoor experiences all into an exciting project that aims to increase awareness of the importance of free-flowing rivers, develop participants’ leadership skills, expand a growing international network of young environmental leaders, and form personal connections to unique and threatened river systems.
Aim of Riverwalk 2018:
~ to discover and protect the Kamp River
~ learn about and support the EU water campaign and advocate for the Water Framework Directive´s high standards
This project will raise awareness of the importance of protecting free-flowing rivers, explore topics such as balancing renewable energy development and nature protection as well as focus on the relation between EU legislation and local action for rivers. It will develop a core of motivated and active young adults who are willing to take action for river conservation, increase international cooperation and cultural understanding and support the participants’ personal development and connection to the issues and regions.
Details of Riverwalk 2018 – Austria:
- Number/makeup of participants: 15 young adults (15-30 years old) from Austria and Slovenia
- Distance of journey: 150 kilometers along the Kamp river from Liebenau (Upper Austria) to Altenwörth (Lower Austria)
- Dates of journey: – 18. August 2018
Riverwalks in the past:
- Austria-Slovenia (2014)
- Italy-Slovenia (2015)
- Albania (2016)
- Inn River: Switzerland, Austria, Germany (2017)
The Riverwalk projects in the past have always had a strong focus on protecting natural, free-flowing rivers and promoting ecological solutions to the challenges rivers face.