Achieved outcomes and impacts:
The main benefit has been the creation of a supra-municipal coordination of activities for the conservation and improvement of the river ecosystem, as well as the promotion of participation, awareness and dissemination of the values of the river space. The impact that is being achieved is a greater naturalization of the fluvial space and the recovery of a large part of its ecosystemic benefits as an urban river. Citizens have also benefited through the management of compatible leisure areas in the various river walks and adjacent parks.
Success factors and lessons learned:
River stewardship agreements are instruments that are being implemented in recent years in several European countries. The model applied in Catalonia has been effectively designed by the Catalan Water Agency and the Xarxa per a la Conservació de la Natura (Network for the Conservation of Nature).
It is a great tool for collaborative work between different organizations, public or not. In our case it is the first supra-municipal agreement to be signed in the field of the natural environment. In spite of being a new operation of the river management, the good predisposition of the municipal technical services and of the Catalan Water Agency have allowed to complete the first 2 years of operation with the accomplishment of many actions, many of them linked to the European project LIFE Alnus for the recovery of the riverside vegetation.
It is an extrapolable and very necessary instrument for the management of urban natural spaces such as rivers or large wooded areas, which do not know the municipal boundaries.
With regard to the lessons learned, all the participants in the agreement agree that this supra-municipal work makes it possible to tackle the most demanding challenges more effectively, such as, for example, the elimination of exotic species, the improvement of environmental flows or the organization of major environmental education events. Work will be done to increase the number of joint activities and to achieve a resilient operation that can withstand periods when external funding is not available to implement program actions.