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China Europe Water Platform

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This solution consists in providing the water sectors in each region (EU and China) with a framework for dialogue, exchange of best practices and collaboration. It will help both parties to find how to properly manage water resources and achieve a sustainable social and economic development while protecting the water environment.

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Case study: France’s promotion of inland navigation at national level.

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It consists in replicating at national and european levels intiatives such as the one the French Ministry of Ecology lead in its country. The Ministry relaunched the inland navigation sector through different channels.

Legally, the Grenelle I law gave incentives to develop inland navigation, seen a a cheaper, more reliable and environmentally-friendly than other modes of transport (on average, inland navigation pollute and consume energy about four times less than road freight transport).

Policies focused on technical aspects, such as modernization programmes on infrastructures, network junctions, dry docks, and services.

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Guide on “Good practices to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation in the pan-European region”

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The guide is intended to make a signficant contribution to the achievement of the objective of equitable access for all.

The guide includes an overall assessment of the current situation (international obligations to achieve equitable access; assessment of the existing infrastructures and fulfillment of the equitable access, challenges faced).

 

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Creation of a network of “Island bassins”

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The suggested solution can be considered both as an institutional and a technical one.

Indeed, the network will be an organizational basis on which to develop and improve the exchange of knowledge and good practices and to carry out ambitious cooperation projects between island-basins.

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Establishment of conventions on “sustainable hydropower”

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It consists in the writing and establishment (in each voluntary country involved in the Europe region preparatory process) of conventions similar to the French « Agreement of commitments for the development of a sustainable hydropower consistent with the restoration of aquatic environments, following the “Grenelle Environment Round Table”».
This convention aims to conciliate the development of hydropower generation with the conservation and restoration of aquatic environments. It provides a set of rules and guidelines to achieve this goal, including but not limited to:
– fostering research in order to strengthen knowledge on species, and  impacts of infrastructures
– strengthening the follow-up and monitoring of hydropower infrastructures’ impacts on hydromorphology, hydrology and the functioning of aquatic environments
– upgrading existing infrastructures in order to bring them up to the new regulations (environmental flow, fish passes, etc)
– integrating the cost of reducing environmental impacts in refurbishment and upgrading investments
– conciliating energy and environmental goals & optimizing hydropower generation through call for competition on concessions and common ownership of concessions located in the same basin
– supervising the removal of infrastructures
– identifing hydropower potentials in sectors where environmental stakes are limited, and develop the potential of existing infrastructures
– avoiding as much as possible discontinuities, reduce their impacts, or, in last resort, compensate them. Develop standards for impact assessment.
– simplifying and rationalizing administrative procedures
– establishing and perpetuating dialogue on the convention through a follow-up committee, meeting at least twice yearly.

Such an instrument could usefully be replicated in other countries

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Transboundary implementation of the consummer/polluter pays principle

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This solution consists in creating a fund, managed by trans-boundary authorities and financed by the polluter pays principle: each consummer/polluter in each riparian country has to pay an amount of money proportional to its consumption or its pollution.

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