Update Riverwalk-Austria: Getting Our Feet Wet & the Water Framework Directive

It has been a while since the first blog post due to some unexpected changes in our program. Two days ago we were not able to settle down at the meadow that we had planned. It was a challenge to find an appropriate alternative to put up the tarps. The only suitable place to stay forced us to carry all our equipment out of the car, over the river, which seemed frustrating at first, because we thought of all the weight of our mobile kitchen, but with a chain of Riverwalkers it was easily done. Just like the river, the demand of Compeed bandages (for blisters) grows each day.

Joel, one of the Riverwalkers, discovered the passion of carving along the way and we are glad to see that the amount of cuts (not on the wood) he is getting per day is decreasing steadily. Furthermore, we started to play some games in the evening which is the reason why some of us are going to get haunted by domesticated animals in their dreams, and we had some heated discussions on the campfire.

Magdalena, a Generation Earth member who currently works with WWF-Austria on an European water campaign, joined us recently and held a workshop concerning her work.  She presented facts, like:

  • There is a global decline of approximately 81 % of fresh water animal species in the last decades (1970-2012) according to WWF living planet report index.
  • 60 % of Austrian rivers are not in a good ecological state. Under the current European water legislation (Water Framework Directive) this has to be changed.

She also gave us an overview on European policy making in water legislation. Currently a so-called, “fitness check” of the existing European water legislation is taking place. Which means: the protection of our rivers is in danger. After the workshop we discussed possibilities to raise public awareness for river protection during this sensitive process of policy making.

We discussed for example actions than can be done during the European water conference in Vienna this September.  For example, check out this amazing event called Water Bodies being organized by some Generation Earth members: https://www.facebook.com/events/370768170120248/

Water Bodies is a Flashmob that will combine artistic expression and environmental protection! Generation Earth will host the event together with the renowned choreographers AIKO KAZUKO KUROSAKI and DARREL TOULON, with music from ELECTRIC:INDIGO. Event will take place during the European Water Conference from September 20-21 in Vienna.

After this interesting input, (thank you Magdalena :), we had lunch – mjammy – and started to walk again.

Riverwalk-Austria 2018 – Our adventure begins!

Two days ago the Riverwalk team met in Liebenau (Hirschau) to get to know each other. We had the possibility to talk about safety, cooking and some basic rules during the walk. Shortly after we were sweating because of the high temperatures, a local storm caught us by surprise. We immediately searched shelter under our tarps while the rain quickly turned into hail. It got pretty heavy and lasted for about an hour. Our team spirit got tested early on! In the end we managed to keep us relatively save and dry and the sun later on helped us to completely dry our stuff for a surprisingly comfortable night under the tarps.

Today we finally started our walk. We found quite a lot of berries on our way to Komau, our final destination for today, which made the heat more bearable. We arrived after approximately 5 hours. Afterwards we enjoyed the refreshingly cold water of the Kamp where we took the chance to take a bath after the tiring walk. Now we are preparing everything for the following night.

Not 1 but 2 Riverwalks in 2018!!!

Get ready for some exciting news! 

It’s official, there will be 2 Riverwalks this year!

WWF-Germany’s “Jugend program” proudly presents their first Riverwalk to take place along the Ammer River in Southwest Germany.  And you can take part and walk with them – 92 km and 10 days along the beautiful Ammer River!

When? 8-17 August 2018

Where? Southwest Germany – along the Ammer River.  We’ll start in Ettal and walk along the river until Dießen.

Why? We would like to give you the opportunity to discover together with other young people the Ammer and its natural beauty. However, our goal is not just experiencing this beautiful region but also why the Ammer is endangered and how to protect it. Seeing the problems and learning something about possible solutions, we will also get in touch with the EU Water Framework Directive learning more about it and its importance for living rivers, because healthy rivers all over Europe. And that’s why we are walking – for our rivers!

What? You can expect ten exiting days, sleeping outside under a tarp, hiking every day along the Ammer, cooking together for ourselves, connecting each other and learning more about the Ammer, the EU Water Framework Directive and ways to protect such amazing rivers.

Who is organising this? We are young members from the WWF Jugend in Germany organising quite often campaigns on local and national level.

You would like to join us? Great! Just sign up – here: http://bit.ly/AnmeldungRW2018

Deadline:  July 22, 2018

Contact: Franziska Losse franziska.losse@posteo.de

 

 

There’s still time!!!

It’s not too late!
 
There’s still time to apply for the (5th) Riverwalk team 2018.
 
Have you Riverwalked? If you have, you know that it’s life changing!
 
Where? Along the river Kamp (~150km)
When? 6-18 August, 2018
What? 13 days of hiking through the Waldviertel and following the Kamp River.
Spending time with a group of amazing people – in nature, sleeping under the stars, cooking and living together, walking, biking, swimming…and protecting Europe’s rivers at the same time.
But that’s not all…workshops on personal development such as teambuilding, political engagement, getting active, leadership, conflict resolution, navigation, etc.
 
Ready to get a little wild?Then, sign up for this year’s Riverwalk!

Riverwalk 2018 Report: Exploration Kamp River

Tim Pauli, this year’s Riverwalk organizer, had this to report on his exploration journey to the site of the 2018 Riverwalk!

Recently, three friends and I went hiking, following the Kamp River from Rosenburg to Krumau. We saw the hydroelectric power station in Rosenburg that EVN wants to expand. Further up river there were quite a few ups and downs:

  • Down – next to the river we found traces of some beavers late night picnic – the sap was still coming from the trees.
  • Up – we had a magnificent view of the Kamp valley: the meandering river and castles adorning the hills – inspiring one’s fantasy of ancient times.

On the second day after a refreshing swim in the Thurnberger Stausee the group divided.  My friends headed back home, and I rushed along the trail to follow the Kamp from Krumau to Rastenfeld to catch a bus.

In the evening, I returned to Rosenburg and slept over in the woods.
The next morning, I took my bicycle, which I had left in Rosenburg on the first day and cycled down river. I crossed beautiful cultural landscapes, little villages, vineyards and more castles.  Impressive!

In Hadersdorf am Kamp, I got on a train and returned to Vienna.

It was a beautiful trip – and gave me some good impressions of the area and even more motivation for continuing the planing process.  It’s going to be a great trip!

River Walk 2018 – Exploring the Kamp surrounded by charming Waldviertler cultural landscape and occasionally tracks of wild nature 😉

– Happy trails,

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riverwalk 2018… Will it happen?

The answer… YES!

Riverwalk 2018 is happening.  But like every Riverwalk it will be unique!

This year’s Riverwalk will focus on 2 main things:

1) RIVERWALKING – just like every year, a small group of youth will walk along a river to explore and protect its beauty, uniqueness and high ecological value

2) PROTECTING EUROPEAN RIVERS –  this year is VERY important because starting this summer the PUBLIC (in Europe) will have a chance to speak up for the “EU Water Framework Directive” – which protects our rivers, lakes, and drinking water!  (more to come)


So, where will the Riverwalk 2018 take place? 

  • Kamp River in Lower Austria (about 1.5 hours from Vienna)

How long will it be? 

  • 12 days

When will it take place?

  • August 6-17, 2018

Who’s organizing it? 

  • A few veteran Generation Earth members (Tim Pauli and Nina Wagner + plus other experienced hikers) and a handful of other interested walkers! Want to help – let us know! (see below)

What’s the significance? 

  • This year we’re not just focusing on 1 river, but the health of ALL rivers in Europe.  If the Water Framework Directive is weakend, then it means all European rivers and waters are threatened: that means drinking water too!

What can I do if I want to get involved, participate or help out?

  • Planning team: please let Tim know!  tim.pauli@gmx.at
  • Walkers: Soon, you’ll find a link on the website and FB to the application process!
  • Political Action Team: Interested in helping with the political side of this year’s walk? Contact Lena: magdalena.vallazza@hotmail.com

Stay tuned as we begin to ramp up our communication on this year’s Riverwalk and the efforts to protect the Water Framework Directive – and all European Rivers!

Here’s to Riverwalk 2018 – Let’s walk!

10 Riverwalkers joined the “Flussdialog Inn”

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!

Didn’t make it to this year’s Riverwalk? You can watch it here!

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for!  The release of this year’s Riverwalk 2017 – Walk the Inn! Documentary!

Almost two months have passed since the Riverwalkers took their last steps this year and by now most of their “blisters” have healed after 24 days of riverwalking.

So, it’s high time to share some of the magical moments of what happened on the journey. Thanks to our very own filmmaker Elli Schwarzkogler for doing an amazing job pulling all of the footage together! We are proud to announce the official RIVERWALK 2017 Documentary Film!

Want to see more Riverwalk films (2014-2017)?

August 6, Day 24: 517 km. Done!

Last day, last hike, last ninja, last group hug, last words, last moments, last rain drops, last goodbye, last blog entry, BUT … memories that last forever. We crossed the bridge at Wernstein and followed the Inn to the „Dreiflüsseeck“ in Passau together with some friends who stayed with us at Wernstein after the RiboSommer-Fest. There we had our final goodbye and then we all traveled back home while still thinking about the intense times that lie behind us. Thanks to all our great supporters both during the planning stages and during the Riverwalk itself! We will soon be back with the Riverwalk 2017-Film!

August 5, Day 23: RiboSommer-Fest, chillax :)

Ooooh what a festival! In total, 9 different workshops were offered; dealing with topics like community supported agriculture, chances in the climate crisis, non-violent comunication, project management and dancing. Food was provided by the team of Christian from Generation Earth plus their deeply dedicated mums. You can tell how enjoyable the food was by the amount of wasps that were hanging out at the food table, not giving a shit about the most effective vegan wasp trap that was set up JUST above the food table in order to scare the wasps away by imitating a REAL wasp nest.

We were all delighted to see the wasps slowly go to sleep, leaving the airspace free for mosquitos to conquer. Therefore, finally after a long period of being starved out, we set up another campfire for chasing the flying beasts off, plus to take home a little extra spice of smoky clothes flavour. But luck was upon us: the tombola spit out tickets for the most exciting (apart from ours..) festival in this region – the Free Tree festival! The two honored winners from now on suffer from insomnia due to overload of emotions and excitement, thrilled by the upcoming event.

The next applause was awarded to the Riverwalkers themselves, which presented their masterpiece, described in yesterdays blog as „no porridge – we cry“. The enthusiasm in the audience was close to its peak and the bar was set high for the real professionals that took over the stage afterwards. Daniel (Herzwort) and Nora and Peter (Prinz Rosa) turned up the heat that maintained us entertained long into the night before the first rain drops began to cool it down. According to myths and stories the party continued a loong time and they all lived happily ever after.