The first in a series of workshops on the topic of fish protection and downstream migration highlighted the congruent and contradictory goals of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) as they relate to the topic of hydropower development and fish protection. A results paper (in German) presenting the detailed findings of the workshop is available for download.
The workshop was financed by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and organized by Ecologic Institute, was held at the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in Bonn on 12 and 13 November 2012. This first workshop concerned itself with "Environmental policy and legal framework – EU Water Framework Directive, river continuity, and water uses". Fifty participants from federal and regional water resource management authorities, NGOs, consultancies, water managers, and hydropower discussed the environmental policy and legal framework relevant to the EU Water Framework Directive, river continuity, and water uses. The goals of the workshop were to establish an open dialogue on the established norms and instruments, to identify areas of conflict, to develop a basis for mutual agreement, and to identify remaining questions surrounding the legal specifications relevant to fish protection and downstream migration in Germany.
At the workshop, three parallel working groups addressed the following topics: the goals and framework for water uses and water conservation established by the WFD, the strategic instruments for hydropower use and water development, and the legal instruments effective on the hydro-engineering works level. Workshop participants were given the opportunity to learn about the existing instruments for the implementation of environmental goals of the WFD and EEG and to exchange their ideas, opinions, and experiences about the effectiveness of these instruments. The critical discussions at the workshop identified the need for better stakeholder involvement and transparency on the decision-making and user levels to weigh-out the costs and benefits of the environmental protection goals of the WFD and EEG. The results paper (in German) presenting the detailed findings of the workshop is available on the Forum Fischschutz project website.