We introduce here the term « River Culture » to delineate an eco-social approach to mitigate the biological and cultural diversity crisis in riverscapes. It is based on the insight that current environmental change endangers both, biological and cultural diversities in rivers and their basins, and those activities to improve ecosystem functions, biodiversity and capacity of the biological species to evolve will have a similarly positive effect on human cultural diversity. “River Culture” has two dimensions, including (a) the influence of the biophysical setting of rivers (specifically, their pulsating flow regimes and their biological features) on the expression of elements of human culture in general and (b) the aspect of “learning from the river” for the development of technologies and management options that are targeted to maintain and improve ecosystem functions and diversity in a more sustainable way. The River Culture Approach, as given in this concept and discussion paper, is preliminarily based on five tenets. 1. Reset values and priorities in riverscape management in favor of human wellbeing and a harmonious coexistence of man and riverscape. 2. Live in the Rhythm of the Waters, i.e. adapt management options in accordance with the hydrological dynamics rather than fighting against them. 3. Transform traditional use of rivers into modern cultural activities and management options. 4. ‘Ecosystem bionics’: by copying survival strategies of flood-pulse adapted organisms novel forms human use can be developed. 5. Make the catchment (river basin) the geographical base unit for all kinds of political decisions in landscape management.