Pilot river basins network on agricultural issues (2008-2009) sharing experiences and views on : effectiveness and acceptance of measures : public participation, involvement of farmers : monitoring and evaluation of measures : impact of climate change on river basin management plans
PublisherLuxembourg : Publications Office of the European Union
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In January 2008, the Pilot River Basins (PRB) network on agricultural issues entered into a new phase. The main purpose was the exchange of information during the ongoing preparation of the river basin management plans (RBMP) and programme of measures (PoM). In early 2009, members of the PRB-AGRI network decided to go beyond the mandate and share better their experience on four specific topics: (i) Effectiveness and acceptance of measures; (ii) Public Participation, involvement of farmers; (iii) Monitoring and evaluation of measures and (iv) Impact of climate change on RBMP. This document gathers articles from PRBs and the conclusions from PRB-AGRI workshops related to the topics mentioned above. As main conclusions, it could be highlighted that cost effectiveness analysis of measures should include environmental and resources costs, farmers’ acceptance and the societal point of view and be based on scientific evidence. It was well agreed that measures efficiency and feasibility should be tested at local level, even if the overall solution to reduce impact and pressures should be found at river basin scale, and that surveillance and operational monitoring programmes should state out how effective the measures have been and lead to a better understanding of the pollution sources and their dynamics. While monitoring the implementation of the PoM remains complex, it is an essential task and PRBs have stressed as well that the need for collaboration between administration levels and that difficulties in monitoring could vary depending on lag-time, status of the measure (compulsory vs. voluntary) and financing. An early involvement of the agricultural sector at all scales and its commitments towards plans is a factor for success. More generally, the approach to public participation should be adapted to the institutional, socioeconomic and environmental context of the river basin. PRBs have showed how that was working on the ground, based on pilot projects, innovative approaches, multidisciplinary teams or more permanent participation organisations. The main challenge was often said to be rebuilding trust - perhaps more than interest - to enhance participation between planners, farmers and local population. It is often a challenge to involve farmers and dialogue should include all of them. Strategies and messages have to be tailored and it is also crucial to have a bunch of measures to ensure flexibility and to propose an adapted funding system. All in all, it should not be ignored that stakeholders’ involvement takes time. The use of models as decision-support tool is widely widespread amongst PRBs. First, they make possible to analyse pressures and evaluate the gaps and are helpful in the selection of best measures to implement. Second, they help to monitor the effect of the measures on the long term as well as the value for money, and propose climate change scenarios. In order to obtain the right picture, these tools need to be fed by robust data, long time data series and feedbacks from the field. Monitoring systems are a crucial piece of the puzzle and must be appropriately designed to provide useful data, and help water planners in their approach to cope with uncertainties which could have a significant impact in the decision-making. Regarding the climate change issue, even if some PRBs have demonstrated that they have already considered the phenomenon in their RBMP, it is generally acknowledged that it will concern more the next generation of the plans. Scientific knowledge is the prerequisite to understand the ongoing processes and the likely impacts of a changed climate. Climate change will influence socio-economic development and could lead to the redefinition of targets or reference conditions for water bodies if appropriated actions are not implemented. Programmes of measures must be climate checked in order to not run counterproductive actions both in terms of cost and effectiveness.
Citation“Anguiano, Emeric. 2010. Pilot river basins network on agricultural issues (2008-2009) sharing experiences and views on : effectiveness and acceptance of measures : public participation, involvement of farmers : monitoring and evaluation of measures : impact of climate change on river basin management plans. Luxembourg : Publications Office of the European Union.”
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