The IRF awards annually the Australian Riverprize and the prestigious Thiess International Riverprize, which is the world’s most valuable environmental award. The ICPDR won this award in 2007 and has been engaged in promoting it and its underlying ideas.
The prizes are designed to give recognition, reward and support to organisations that have developed outstanding and visionary programs in sustainable river basin management. The establishment of a European Riverprize is one of the key elements of the partnership between ICPDR and IRF.
“The European Riverprize comes at a time of unprecedented interest in river basin and freshwater management in Europe with landmark instruments such as the Water Framework Directive aimed at attaining a healthy status of all EU waters by 2015 and the Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources to be launched in late 2012. And what better year to award the first prize than in 2013 the UNESCO year for cooperation in water” stated IRF’s Matthew Reddy.
“The ICPDR is comprised of fourteen member countries and the European Union and since we won the Thiess International Riverprize in 2007 and we have continued to work closely with the IRF and on our international outreach programs in southern Africa” commented ICPDR President Wolfgang Stalzer.
“The ICPDR has a proud history of international cooperation which we seek to extend through the formation of the IRF Europe office and the European Riverprize” says President Stalzer. “All nations of the Danube have contributed to and benefited from transnational boundary cooperation in river basin management and through the European Riverprize we can appropriately acknowledge and celebrate such achievements after many years of hard work” Stalzer said. The winner of the European Riverprize will be an automatic finalist in the Thiess International Riverprize the following year.
The all‐European judging panel will assess applications based on a documented river management framework, evidence of social and economic gains, an integrated approach to river management, a long-term vision and demonstrated, outstanding achievements in river ecology.
“We have assessed hundreds of applications from every continent and consistently the European applicants demonstrate integrated approaches to river basin management that are exemplary” said Professor Paul Greenfield, Chairman of the Thiess International Riverprize judging panel. “With a pedigree of previous international winners including European rivers such as the Mersey, the Thames, the Drome and the Danube there is every chance that the European winners will also take out the International Riverprize” said Professor Greenfield.
European Riverprize Proposal An outline of the European Riverprize, which is to be awarded for the first time in autumn of 2013.