1. Workshops and Conferences hosted by the Chair
1.1. Announcement of the acceptance of the UNESCO Chair Project, Tours
Just one evening before the first workshop, the good news arrived, the Unesco Chair project had been accepted by UNESCO. See below some pictures of the small celebration at the Mission Val de Loire. The official starting date for the Chair, however, is after the signature of the convention by all partners in October 2014.
1.2 Preparative workshop at Chinon, 22. / 23. May 2014: “Chinon River Sciences 2014 – an international workshop on River Restauration: towards an agenda for research, action, and teaching”
This international workshop had a triple goal, simultaneously announcing the UNESCO Chair on River Culture (Fleuves et Patrimoine), inaugurating the Chinon Center for Freshwater Studies (CCFS), and celebrating the 25th anniversery of the Master Course on River Restoration (IMACOF) at the University of Tours. Gathering scientists from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands, it aimed to deliver baselines from ecological and engineering sciences for evidence-based policies of integrated river management. The first day was dedicated to deliver a a research agenda for river/floodplain engineering. A series of environmental problems was discussed, and the problem of dam removal and ecohydrology was identified as the most pressing issue. Steps were taken to set up a project on further exchange and research on this issue (successfully established in 2015, see projects). The second day focused on what is done on the national and European levels to improve physical habitat structures of running water ecosystems, and on training courses.
inauguration workshop programme Download
press release (in french) Download
1.3 First official UNESCO CHAIR workshop at Angers „River Culture: drivers of land use and environmental integrity“
This workshop focused on land use change and consequences for water courses, both considering damming and agricultural impacts. Chair Partners from African countries and India were present. Specific issues were the environmental impacts in the Himalaya and foothills region, and the religious linkages between man and river in India (presentations by B. Gopal and M. Chauhan), beneficiary vs. negative impacts of damming projects in the Senegal river (A. Kane and H. Boucoum), and on cultural linkages man-river in Mali (I. Bao and L. Cissé). A field trip showed the environmental effects of ancient coal mining and wine culture on water quality in the Angers region. A series of follow-up workshops and the editing of a book were planned.
Culture du fleuve : occupation des sols, pratiques et qualité environnementale (in french)