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Four afternoons - more than twelve hours full of interesting expert knowledge, fascinating project approaches and inspiring case studies about dam removal – that was “Dam removal goes Alps 2021”.

Seppo Leinonen, a cartoonist and illustrator from Finland has drawn these comics live during the keynote speeches.

 

Free flowing rivers – a benefit for us and nature
Let us remove obstacles and barriers!

Seminar resumé

Georg Bayerle, the moderator of the seminar, summarized some key findings in a brief résumé. Besides, the outcome of the seminar will be presented in a detailed seminar report. It will gather the main topics, including facts and lessons learnt from the presented case studies. We hope that helps you to stay inspired and to take away the information you need to push dam removal in your region. You will be informed via e-mail once the seminar report is published (probably in June).

DOWNLOAD BRIEF RÉSUMÉ

 

Contact us

Let us know if you have any remarks, any experiences you’d like to share with us or any open questions about our seminar or dam removal in the Alps. We will take care of your request or get you in touch with the suitable counterpart. We are glad if we can connect you with other dam removal actors!

Please send us an email to damremoval-alps2020@wwf.de or use our contact form below.

Showcase videos

During the seminar various successful dam removal and renaturation projects were presented. If you have missed one, or you’d like to have a look at one or another again, watch the videos here:

Austria: Removal of a torrent control at River Hornbach in the Natura-2000-site Lech-Valley (Tyrol)

Switzerland: Dam removal in Schöftland - removal of a small powerplant

UK: Weir removal planned in the Lake District

Bavaria: We must clear the way, dam removal at Mitternacher Ohe

France: First dam removal in France at Allier River

France: The biggest dam removal in Europa, La Roche-qui-Boit dam at the Selune River

Lithuania: Bražuolė: The first dam removal in Lithuania

Presentations

More than 35 experts shared their knowledge at the online seminar. Find here all their presentations for your reference:

Day 1 - What is on stake? Why do we need dam removal?

Keynote speech

  • Klement Tockner, General Director of the Senckenberg Society: "Importance and threats to river ecosystems - with a focus on Europe and the Alpine Space"
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S11: Overview on dams in Europe

  • Extent of river fragmentation in Europe: Results and recommendations from the AMBER Project, Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Swansea University, UK
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  • Status of dams and barriers in Bavarian rivers, Stefan Ossyssek, WWF Germany
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S12: Critical status of European rivers

  • Opportunities for dam removal under the EU Biodiversity Strategy, Claire Baffert, WWF EPO, Belgium
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  • A pan-Alpine overview on the status of rivers, Pablo Rauch, BOKU, Austria
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S13: Effects of barriers on fish populations

  • Effects of barriers on fish and outcome of barrier removal in Switzerland, Armin Peter, EAWAG aquatic research, Austria
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  • Scientific program to understand the mechanisms of restoration of the Selune River (France) following the removal of two large dams, Laura Soissons, INRAE, France
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S14: Decline of land ecosystems Moderator

  • Decline of gravel banks and related species (Myricaria) due to river degradation, Gregory Egger, KIT, Germany
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  • Modelling the impact of dams and exotic vegetation in New Zealand braided rivers, Guglielmo Stecca, NIWA, New Zealand
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Day 2 - How to push Dam Removal forward?

Keynote speech

  • Teppo Saekkinen, Political Advisor to the Finish Environmental Ministry: “Government programme to restore migratory fish populations in Finland”
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S21: Approaches to prioritize dam removal

  • Swiss methodology for identification and prioritization of obsolete dams, Christian Hossli, Aqua Viva & Cathy Hutchings, WWF Switzerland
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  • Prioritization concept in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Andreas Müller, Chromgruen
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S22: Highlighting negative effects of dams

  • Did the publication of the AMBER map change opinions and push removals?, Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Swansea University, UK
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  • Significance of river continuity to fish population, David Bittner, SFV, Switzerland
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S23: Pointing to the chances

  • Managing dam removal in Slovenia, Leon Kebe, WWF Adria
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  • Finnish campaign for dam removal, Sampsa Vilhunen, WWF Finland
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S24: Innovative communication strategies

  • Free flowing Salzach: The power of images and visions, Christine Margraf, BUND Naturschutz, Germany
  • Lessons learned from the World Fish Migration Day, Pao Fernandez, WFMF, Netherlands
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Day 3 - Benefits of Dam Removal to Nature and People

Keynote speech

  • Beth Lambert, Director of Division of Ecological Restoration at the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (USA): “The economic effects of ecological restoration and dam removal in Massachusetts”
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S31: Ecological benefits of dam removal

  • Removal and reconstruction of a weir at the Ammer river, Bernhard Müller, Water Management Office Weilheim, Germany
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  • Ecological benefits of dam removal in Denmark, Niels Jepsen or Kim Aarestrup, DTU Aqua, Denmark
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S32: Economic benefits of dam removal

  • Dam Removal – Exploring Investable Projects, Wouter Helmer, Rewilding Europe
  • Assessing the economic rationale of small-scale dam removal, Antti Iho, Luke, Finland
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  • Lessons learned from the removal of the Krebsbach Dam, Germany, Ercan Ayboga, Environmentalist, Germany
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S33: Social benefits of dam removal

  • Dismanteling of a longitudinal dam right in the middle of Zurich, Christian Hossli, Aqua Viva, and Cathy Hutchings, WWF Switzerland
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  • The Altenau Story, one of the most remarkable river restorations in Germany, Ulrich Eichelmann, Riverwatch
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S34: Removals in the view of climate change

  • Global warming induced fish die-off in the Rhein 2018 and mitigation measures taken, Samuel Gründler, Swiss Fishery Association
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  • Methan production in large and small reservoirs in Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate, Andreas Lorke, University Koblenz-Landau
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Day 4 - Political Frameworks and Financing

Keynote speech

  • Christophe Poupard, Director for Water Planning, Agence de l‘Eau Seine-Normandie: “Selune, the biggest dam removal in Europe”
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S41: Exemplary political frameworks

  • A truthful bidding mechanism for micro-hydropower plant removals, Iho Atti, Luke, Finland
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  • Restoring the Snake River through dam removal, David Moryc, American Rivers
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  • Political framework for dam removal in European countries:

S42: Financing dam removal

  • Crowd funding for dam removal, Carmen Arufe, WWF Netherlands
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  • Subsidising the removal of smaller dams in Northern France, Stéphane Jourdan, Water Agency Artoise- Picardie
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S43: Expiring concessions as new chances

  • How removing “eternal rights” of water use might lead to dam removals, Ruedi Bösiger, WWF Switzerland
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  • Dam removal at the Duero River in Spain, Carlos Marcos Primo, NAIAD Coordinator
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  • Selune example: Why the concession was not prolonged, Roberto Epple, ERN, France
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S44: Legal cases and law enforcement

  • Weir today, gone tomorrow? An approach to understanding and managing historic weirs in England, Steve Dean, Environmental Agency, UK
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  • Removal of a small weir in the Windach, Markus Brandtner, Water Management Agency Weilheim, Germany
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Press releases

"Announcement Dam removal goes Alps” WWF Germany (German only)
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"Weilheimer Appell” (German only)
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Press announcement "Weilheimer Appell” (German only)
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Contact form

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