Meuse River, The Netherlands

The Border-Meuse is a section of the Meuse river and marks the border between Belgium and The Netherlands. The water level of the Border-Meuse is managed through dams and fluctuates heavily. Initiated through ‘plan ooievaar’ in 1985, the region has been subject of substantial change with most recently the Border-Meuse project. The Border-Meuse project aims to integrate objectives of flood protection, gravel extraction and nature rehabilitation through the lens of nature-based solutions and rewilding principles, under the umbrella of the Dutch Room for the River programme. During the summer of 2021, extensive rainfall in the Meuse basin caused high water levels in the river and riparian zones.

Cauca River, Colombia

The Cauca river is born in the Macizo plateau in the department of Cauca, which is known as the hydrographic star. As a natural blue line it connects farmer, indigenous and Afro-Colombian territories along an approximate 1000 kilometers, until it connects with the delta region known as the Mojana, near the Caribbean Coast.

The river is threatened not only by large scale gold mining , but also by agroindustrial projects that include sugarcane, pine, eucalyptus, potatoes, strawberries and coca. Two hydroelectric dams have interrupted local socio-ecosystems and the internal armed conflict has turned the river into a mass grave, in which legal and illegal armed actors have dumped hundreds of bodies.

Despite the multiple attacks and impacts on the Cauca river, it is also a symbol of resistance and dignity. Interethnic and intercultural alliances between communities to defend both the river and their territories have resulted in creative and innovative strategies to materialize collective proposals on autonomy, protection and living the good life and a life in dignity (buen vivir and vida digna)

uMngeni River, South Africa

The uMngeni River provides the ethnically diverse urban area of Durban with water. The water suffers from severe pollution, with much of the litter in the river coming from informal settlements without waste collection. Diverse multi-stakeholder alliances have formed to defend the river, establishing for instance the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA).

uMngeni/Limpopo River Basin, Southern Africa

The study on the uMngeni/Limpopo River Basin forms a bridge between PhDs 5 and 8 by focusing on the scaling of citizen participation in Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring (CBWQM) practices. It examines the role of partnering as expressed by sharing of intellectual property, knowledge co-creation, and co-development of tools to support learning within CBWQM across multi-actors in a networked learning environment.

Limpopo/Olifants River Basin, Southern Africa

The transnational Limpopo/Olifants river basin suffers from droughts and flooding. Several bigger and smaller dams have been constructed and overgrazing has led to severe siltation of the middle river. The river basin has a complex multi-stakeholder governance praxis, and promising commoning initiatives.

Barotse Floodplains, Zambia

In the Barotse floodplains many people’s livelihoods depend on fishery. Recent industrialization in the headwaters and unsustainable commercial fishing practices have depleted fish stocks. Local partners of WWF have set up community activities for sustainable fishery and a protected area network.

Warna River, India

The basin’s upper part of the Warna River is a protected area and also home to the Daghe Dahangar indigenous community. Some of them have been displaced because of the large Warna dam and the protected area. The dam serves the lower part of the basin with intensive agriculture, threatening agro-ecological fishing-based livelihoods. KBPLSPS is an active social movement supported by SOPPECOM striving for inclusive policies.

Magdalena River, Colombia

The Middle-Magdalena River is home to numerous fisher-communities, but pollution, land-grabbing and loss of river-ecosystem connectivity caused by large dams threaten local livelihoods. Local fisher communities and Alma Foundation co-formulate River Safeguard Plans including adapted fishing techniques, river-ecology restoration, environmental educational, and policy-action projects.