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SPARE – Alpine rivers as society’s lifelines

As society’s lifelines rivers provide us with clean water, renewable energy and they provide recreation opportunities. (c) Heinz Heiss

What is the state of the Alpine rivers? How can we bring those responsible and other interested parties to committing themselves to holistic river management? The SPARE project strives to answer these and other questions. CIPRA and eight additional partners have launched the three-year project at a two-day meeting in Vienna in early February 2016.

Rivers are the lifelines of sustainable development in the Alps. They provide clean drinking water for human use and irrigation for agriculture, they are home to a myriad of organisms, they provide recreation opportunities, and their power helps us to produce energy. Alpine rivers can only provide these and other services to society if we take care of them, on the basis of comprehensive river management.

The SPARE (Strategic Planning for Alpine River Ecosystems) project aims at contributing to a further harmonization of human use requirements and protection needs. Led by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, nine project partners from six Alpine countries show how strategic approaches for the protection and management of rivers can be improved across administrative and disciplinary borders, and promote awareness of the services provided by Alpine rivers, as well as their vulnerability.

SPARE lasts from December 2015 to December 2018 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme. CIPRA is leading the communication within SPARE.