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Andris Urtāns Presents Examples of River Management in Latvia at an International Conference.
From the 11th to the 13th of September, European River Restoration Conference took place in Vienna. The conference gathered more than 300 participants from the USA, Japan and Europe, including representatives of NAT- PROGRAMME - Juris Jātnieks and Andris Urtāns. Scientists and river experts from 35 countries shared their experiences about river management. The European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik delivered a speech about the significance of freshwaters in the future Europe. Also, the Executive Director at the European Environment Agency Hans Bruyninckx talked about the current state of European waters and the ways it could be improved.
NAT-PROGRAMME freshwaters expert Andris Urtāns also delivered a presentation with a topic “Initiative Place a Stone in a Stream as a Method for Local Stakeholder Motivation and Involvement in River Restoration and Maintenance in Latvia”. The presentation included a suggestion to organise river management and maintenance as a regular societal activity instead of organising several separate projects as it is currently done. At the end of the conference the representative of the National Trust Helen Dangerfield stressed this point as an excellent example of best practices.
During the conference NAT-PROGRAMME representatives met with representatives of several other LIFE projects and established useful contacts for future collaboration.  For instance, A.Urtāns and J.Jātnieks met with the manager of the Life+ project RESTORE Antonia Scar and learnt about th a website which has been developed in this project. The aim of this website is to exchange information and experience among those who are implementing projects about river restoration in Europe. A.Scar invited NAT-PROGRAMME to contribute to this website by uploading information about freshwater restauration projects in Latvia. A representative of London Borough of Lewisham Paul Chapman also expressed an invitation to collaborate in projects about the motivation and involvement of society in the management of rivers and their riparian areas. 
The conference provided a useful insight into the most significant issues and activities in the current river management in Europe, as well as offerred an opportunity to discuss various river management methods and the possibility of implementing these methods in Latvia. After returning from the conference, A.Urtāns reflected on the experience and suggessted that, in order to ensure sustainable and environmentally friendly river management in Latvia, it is essential to ensure that the aims of NAT-PROGRAMME are explained to a wider range of society - including advisory boards, city councils and NGOs. 
 Life+ RESTORE project presented by the Project Manager Antonia Scarr.
Fishway -hydroelectric power station, Danube, Austria.
Hydroelectric station,"Pool type fishway"
Andris Urtāns delivering his presentation. 

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