The Regional Natural Park of Camargue in France hosted the 1st Interregional Learning Event of the newly funded Delta Lady project on 1-2 October 2018. Nine partner organisations from six European countries met in Camargue to exchange experiences on the regional policies and good practices of the delta regions.
Six delta regions in Europe - Camargue in Rhône delta in France, Rijn delta in the Netherlands, Danube delta in Romania, Albufera delta in Spain, Po delta in Italy, and River Blackwater delta in Ireland - aim at the improvement of the regional policy instruments regarding the better use of ecosystem services. The policy issue is how to foster the natural and cultural capabilities available from the past and to develop new experiences based on ecosystem services in the river deltas to boost regional economy.
During the meeting partners discussed the issues and challenges related to their deltas. The rationale behind their participation is no specific reference to the use of ecosystem services in the regional policies. All partners address policy instruments for valorisation of ecosystem services in the deltas for regional economy. Some start from the perspectives on tangible activities (e.g. Po, Danube, Rhone with fishing, reed, rice, tourism, education), whereas others address methods (distribution of benefits, effectuation, collaboration).
The focus of the meeting was Camargue delta, which is rich in biodiversity and ecosystem services. Next to nature protection, husbandry of bulls and horses, cultivation of rice and reed beds, fisheries and salt production are important. Birds and wild horses are major for tourism. Tourism activities are very diverse, from mass tourism on the seashore to cultural and natural tourism in the park area. The director of the Natural Park of Camargue and stakeholders’ group presented their views on the issues related to the rice farming, reed beds and fishery. Rice in Camargue is the main crop. Higher salinity of soil is a major issue. Balancing of the fishery yield which covers fish, shrimps and mussels is the major issue as well.
Meeting in the Natural Park of Camargue and the study tour to the delta was a success showcasing successful integration of biodiversity and tourism and other ecosystem services and opening the opportunities for the cross-regional learning.
University of Twente, CSTM
Delta Lady (Floating Cultures in River Deltas)
Project funded by Interreg Europe programme
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