Session 2.2

Restoring river continuity in Europe together

In partnership with the JRC

‘River continuity’ is the possibility for water, sediments and aquatic fauna to circulate freely in different directions. Disrupting river continuity with manmade infrastructure alters natural connectivity and affects many ecological processes depending on it.

The issue is important, because freshwater ecosystems are one of the most affected types of ecosystems on earth, with dramatic decline in aquatic biodiversity and in sediment transport due to human pressures. Europe has the most fragmented rivers in the world with approximately one barrier every two kilometres of river.

The Water Framework Directive aims to achieve good status for all waters. This requires different actions to be put in place, including restoring river continuity. Progress has been made in terms of river protection and restoration, but the issue of continuity has not been tackled to the required extent. To help achieve these objectives, the EU Biodiversity Strategy sets specific targets for Member States to enhance efforts in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive regarding river restoration, and to restore at least 25 000 km of rivers to a free-flowing state by the removal of barriers.

This session will see speakers from different horizons present good practices, tools and instruments to restore river continuity, and discuss concrete solutions to help the EU reach its targets.


Professor Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Department of BioSciences, Swansea University

Professor Kim Aarestrup, Section for Freshwater Fisheries Ecology, Technical University of Denmark

Ivan Olsson, Project Manager, LIFE CONNECTS, Skåne County Board, Malmö

Johan Tielman, Environmental Manager, Uniper Hydropower

Pao Fernández Garrido, World Fish Migration Foundation


Veronica Manfredi, Director, Quality of Nature, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission

Our principal priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our speakers, moderators, exhibitors and participants, and so we have been monitoring the situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak constantly. Due to the current situation and restrictions, it has been decided that EU Green Week 2020 will be available exclusively online.

You will have the opportunity to join the EU Green Week in a new immersive virtual experience. Not only will you be able to watch all the sessions live and interact with the speakers, but you will also have the possibility to explore the exhibitions and network with the other attendants just as if you were there !
The virtual event platform will be soon open - all you have to do is to register and you will gain access to the event from your home or office.
If you are interested in attending the virtual event, you can leave your e-mail address here and we will contact you as soon as the registration platform is available.