Resting on the banks of the Mekong River in Champasak province, southern Laos, the Vat Phou natural heritage site embraces a vast cultural landscape dating from the period between the 6th and 13th centuries CE. Within it, a network of temples, sanctuaries and waterworks stretches along the axis linking Phu Kao Mountain to the river’s embankments, from which the ruins of two ancient cities can also be sighted in the alluvial plains.
The World Heritage Committee has expressed its concern over the construction of a new North-South road cutting through the site, and has requested that the roadworks be halted and an environmental impact assessment be conducted. At the request of the Laotian government, a technical assistance mission, comprising F. Delmont (architect & urban... Read More
The Rivers and Heritage website was officially launched on 15. March 2012 at the World Water Forum in Marseille (France), during the session on Water Culture in Local Governance organised by the International Association of Francophone Muncipal autorities (AIMF) in partnership with the Water Academy and UNESCO within the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement. The website was created as part of the Rivers and Heritage programme, conducted within UNESCO with the support of the France-UNESCO Convention.
The aim of the programme is to « reappropriate cultural ownership of the river ». While rivers all around the world experience a new phase of development, whose impacts are significant and controversial, there is a renewed interest in the river as a common... Read More
Could you tell us who the contributors will be and which rivers will be represented at the first international conference on Managing our rivers: Research and Action?
The IS. Rivers conference proposes an overview of research and actions in the service of over 55 rivers (in 32 different countries). 100 oral presentations and 70 posters are expected on 14 major French rivers, 25 European rivers and 20 rivers from around the world. 70% of the proposed papers are rather scientific, while 40% are case studies. Many papers bring together operational and scientific actors.
The meeting brings together research and action in the service of the rivers. Does the Rhone River offer an exemplary situation in this area?
In the case of the Rhone River, there is a long practice of dialogue among... Read More
The Rivers and Heritage Database was created by the Rhone River Centre to facilitate access to information on the Rhone. Numerous documentary and scientific resources exist; however, they are maintained and disseminated about the linear river by a wide variety of organizations (museums, public archives, associations). Giving access to professionals or the public at large to this data is the key to maintaining the status of rivers as shared cultural heritage and to affirming their role in the development of territories.
Launched in 2010, the database combines two tools designed for different audiences: a system of shared information for professionals and a public website with a search engine, giving access to research on the river and its heritage.
The database relies on an inter-regional... Read More
The World Heritage site of Luang Prabang, situated at the meeting of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers in northern Laos, is at an important crossroads in its history.
Sixteen years after its inclusion on the World Heritage list, and following an active policy of restoration, the town today faces numerous urban pressures, which threaten to undermine its integrity and values. The site’s growing prestige has fuelled an exponential growth in tourism over the past decade, especially among Asian travel-seekers. The resultant economic boom has however placed great strain on the relatively small town, which derives its value from its unique layout and the relationship between its urban and natural landscapes. Factors such as urban consolidation in the historic city centre, infrastructure... Read More
“We must encourage the installation of rain recycling systems and watering points for livestock so that people do not fear for the future.”
A scientific study published on September 26, 2011 analyzes the situation of ten of the world’s largest river basins and finds there is enough water for all the world’s inhabitants so long as this resource is used more efficiently and is more evenly distributed. With climate change, it is necessary to protect against the erratic nature of rainfall (for example in South Africa). Think of changes to the types of crops used; work towards greater cooperation among ministries within the same country; and consider a reallocation of activities among the various countries in the valleys in order to make the most of this resource based on soil type and... Read More
The Great Friends of the St Lawrence River Prize rewards the work of men and women involved in signifiant actions in favour of the St Lawrence River. To this day, 7 Great Friends have been awarded over the 3 editions of the Prize :
André Beauchamp, one of the great environment experts in Quebec (2008 Prize)
Paulyne Gauvin, founding member of the Friends of the St Lawrence Valley in 1986 (2008 Prize)
Jacques Baril, former Minister of Quebec’s government, promoter of – and responsible for – Quebec’s first maritime policy (2008 Prize)
André Stainier, President of the Friends of the St Lawrence Valley (2010 Prize)
Captain Yvan Desgagnés, promoter of navigation on the St Lawrence River and co-founder of the Groupe Desgagnés (2011 Prize)
Pierre Camu, Geographer,... Read More
How to reconcile the city and the port, economic development and the protection of natural environments, urban renewal and harbour expansion, corporate interests and city aspirations ?
How can a port city, frequently marooned in spatial confines inherited from past centuries as it is, face new needs connected to matters like tonnage growth, the proliferation of super containers or super oil tankers and technological changes in dock work or in infrastructures for intermodal transport? In most cases, the extension and relocation of harbour installations clash with municipal zoning restrictions or with reluctancies, even the opposition of citizen, whether these are environmental activists or not.
The Friends of the St Lawrence Valley and Quebec’s Chamber of Commerce, with the support... Read More
The conference on River Heritage and River areas was held in Saint Louis, Senegal, from 3. March 2012 to 5. March 2012. The meeting was organised by the Senegal River Centre and the Gaston Berger University, with the support of the France – UNESCO Convention. It gathered approximately 50 participants from Senegal, Mauritania, Mali and France – namely, researchers, Cultural Heritage directors, experts, representatives from local authorities or training institutions.
In line with the Rivers and Heritage workshop, held at the French Senate (Paris, 2. November 2009), this meeting allowed to release various research works concerning river cultures, fluvial landscapes and water management local know-how. It also laid stress on the importance of the « reappropriation of the... Read More