Rivers are active ecosystems that shape their floodplain dynamically, and need to be connected with the surrounding elements such as forests, wetlands and groundwater bodies. For this reason, science requires us to bring rivers back to their natural flow, to ensure the health of both riverine ecosystems and human societies.
However, rivers are too often subject to intensive pressures, for example by water and gravel extraction. Also, constructions are often placed very close to the river, increasing potential risks for riverine communities. The European community promotes the recovery of more than 25.000 km of free-flowing rivers by 2030. Everywhere in Europe, dams are being destroyed and barriers are removed to bring back rivers to life.
The two images show the Tagliamento river in normal conditions (top) and fullbanks (bottom). The fact that the river has space to flow in the middle course prevents damages to human activities.
Let’s change our paradigm and make the Tagliamento an unique example of a free-flowing river.
The Tagliamento river must be seen as an integral and fundamental part of the territory, and defines it in every aspect (productive activities, urban development, uses of water, tourist activities, biodiversity). Planning the territory well therefore means planning around the river while respecting its uniqueness, enhancing activities compatible with its fundamental values. Any river intervention should be pondered carefully accounting for its environmental impact also in terms of loss of the cultural services provided.
We ask for territorial planning that accounts for ecosystem services!
River Contracts (RCs) are voluntary agreements between stakeholders for managing water bodies. They were introduced in France in the ’80s as a territorial management tool in response to a growing interest among citizens in the topic of river protection. At a European level, they began to spread in 2000, when they were presented at the 2nd World Water Forum in The Hague as forms of agreement that allow “the adoption of a system of rules in which the criteria of public utility, economic performance, social value, environmental sustainability intervene equally in the research for effective solutions for the restoration of a river basin”.
Learn more about the river contracts!
The Tagliamento river is at the center of a debate that involves many actors from the world of science, politics, civil society and productive activities. Choices for the future of the river must therefore be made taking into consideration the various points of view, and identifying the values of the river (e.g. raw materials such as water, but also cultural ones) and identifying priorities.
This, however, requires that communities are not only informed but also actively involved personally. Everyone can use his voice, participate with their knowledge and experience and contribute to the discussion! Do you want to join the community?
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Thanks to the multiple efforts of communities (links), the Tagliamento river so far was preserved by many attempts to modify its flow. It also hosts several protected areas (Natura 2000, SIC – Sites of Community Importance).
Flood retention basins were first proposed in 1998, but after more than a decade the project was discarded thanks to the action of citizens, practitioners, stakeholders and local communities. Infrastructures are now planned in the middle course and have been discussed ever since.
A petition for including the Tagliamento as a Unesco heritage site was signed by more than 15.000 citizens.
More than 200 research article have been written about the Tagliamento River. A new project funded by Formas, a Swedish research council for sustainable development, started studying its socio-cultural values.
The river Arzino is a tributary of the Tagliamento, famous for its turquoise natural pools. The Arzino-Tagliamento confluence is located in one of the most spectacular parts of the basin.
The civil society has increasingly recognized the value of the Tagliamento through cultural, touristic and artistic activities on the river.