NIWE members gathered at the Cruising Association HQ in Limehouse, London in late September 2022 for our first face to face meeting with (almost) everyone since November 2019!
Members gave an update on their recent activities;
Steve told the group about Canal & River Trust’s various responsibilities, activities and operational issues around infrastructure, water resources etc and the challenges faced / opportunities since the transformation to being a waterways and wellbeing charity.
VNF said they are continuing to slowly build a network of supporters and are collecting evidence that they can use to convince MEP’s and EU representatives of the need for support and funding for inland waterways and to increase (sustainable) tourism on these.
Nicolas showed the joint document / presentation he made to Commission TRAN of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism | European Parliament Multimedia Centre (europa.eu)
Waterboard Hollands Noorderkwartier had their expression of interest for their “TREASURE: Targeting the reduction of plastic outflow into the North Sea” project, in Interreg VB North Sea Region’s new programme; See First approvals in the new programme, Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme They are now working on the full application.
“TREASURE: Targeting the reduction of plastic outflow into the North Sea”
Caroline spoke about the strategic initiatives / projects Waterways Ireland are involved in;
Changing Infrastructure, Development of Tullamore Harbour, and the Ulster Canal restoration.
Gent & Antwerp are continuing to raise awareness of waterway issues and opportunities post Covid and as they try to increase visits and engagement generally. They are collecting and assessing data and evidence of green benefits and opportunities to enhance property/estate values and are packaging these as the ‘justification’ for their work.
Rijkswaterstaat is developing a 5 year strategy ‘vision’ and implementation programme and budget for their recreational waterways. This is very good news and a positive shift in focus for RWS. Plans are to create more attractive areas / routes first – then to promote them.
Cormac McCarthy, Waterways Ireland’s Climate Action Plan Manager gave a presentation with specific insights into the Climate Actions they are now taking forward. See https://www.waterwaysireland.org/climate-action-plan This prompted a lively discussion and members agreed this topic was something we need to exchange ideas and expertise more regularly. NIWE is an ideal forum for facilitating this. There are already thriving exchanges through Green WIN.
“Enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation” is probably our best opportunity but we need to develop the Intervention Logic for such a project and understanding and applying this methodology is vital if we are to have a strong application.
The final session highlighted the issues we need to consider if we are to successfully develop an ‘approvable’ Interreg project. The NWE Strategic Objective (SO) 4.6 “Enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation” is probably our best opportunity but we need to develop the Intervention Logic for such a project and understanding and applying this methodology is vital if we are to have a strong application.