19 Jul International Riverprize – 2014
Winner: International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine | River Rhine, Transnational (Europe)
The International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) received the award for bringing Europe’s River Rhine back to life following a devastating chemical accident in 1986, which wiped out nearly all biological life. Prior to the accident, industrialisation and burgeoning populations had already caused major degradation to the river and as early as the 1960s, the Rhine, which flows through six countries, was notoriously known as the ‘sewer of Europe’. The restoration of the Rhine has taken the best part of a century, and involved extensive transboundary river management and cooperation. Now, almost all of the 58 million inhabitants of the Rhine catchment are connected to urban wastewater treatment plants, water quality has improved considerably and inventories show that fish species composition in the Rhine is almost back to what is was before the chemical spill. Watch video here
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