German Participatory Forum on Fish Protection and Downstream Migration
On 22 June 2015, Eleftheria Kampa, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute gave a presentation on the German Forum on fish protection and downstream migration at the 5th International Fish Passage Conference in the Netherlands. In her presentation, she illustrated how the Forum has been a successful instrument for participation and improving acceptance for measures on fish protection and downstream migration, which are a topic of intensive and often controversial discussions in recent years in Germany. The presentation slides are available for download.
Scope of the Fish Passage Conference
The 5th Fish Passage Conference was held from 22 to 24 June 2015 for the first time in Europe, being the largest Fish Passage Conference to date with 541 attendees. It attracted researchers, educators, practitioners, funders and regulators from across the globe offering concurrent sessions in engineering, ecohydraulics, biology, management and social issues.
The main goal of the conference was to share fish passage and river connectivity best practices with international colleagues. Within Europe, this conference is seen as an evaluation and learning point for the river connectivity goals of the European Water Framework Directive , according to which good ecological status should be achieved in European river basins by 2015.
Stakeholder participation in the Forum
Eleftheria Kampa explained the structure of the German Forum on Fish Protection and Downstream Fish Migration which was initiated in 2012 by the Federal Environment Agency, with support from Ecologic Institute. The Forum came together in a series of interactive workshops and conferences to foster dialogue and to promote the exchange of information and experiences. More than 200 stakeholders from federal and regional water resource management authorities, nature and angler associations, consultancies, water managers and hydropower have engaged in a dialogue process on a variety of themes related to fish protection and downstream migration.
Improvements in the debate culture due to interactions in the Forum events
As a result of this process, it has been possible to develop a common understanding on the current state of knowledge and technology that needs to be taken into account for fish protection, downstream fish migration and the conservation and establishment of fish populations. In 2014, the Forum produced a synthesis report [pdf, 786 KB, German] based on the discussions taking place so far during the workshops. The Forum participants have highlighted the improvement that has taking place in the debate culture on fish protection and downstream migration within Germany due to interactions in the Forum events. The participants highly recommended continuing this type of dialogue process.
The Forum will continue its activities from 2015 to 2018 with emphasis on annual events to exchange experiences and carry out more in-depth discussion on specific technical issues as well as on the set-up of an online information platform.