On May 12th 2022 the Cross-border water Rendez-vous Meuse Region took place in Roermond. Over one hundred policy officers, political administrators and other relevant stakeholders from the Meuse region joined the international network day. Participants were actively challenged to work together during presentations, panel discussions and various workshops. Insights were shared on current developments, successes and best practices in the field of climate adaptation at the (inter)regional level and the joint management of the river that flows through Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The day started with a plenary opening by chair(wo)men of the day Heide Jekel[1] and Ronald Lanters[2]. This opening was followed by an inspiring lecture by Patrick Meire[3] about the fundamental paradigm shift that is necessary to make: we need a water revolution that implies working with nature to create complex and resilient (eco)systems.

An engaging panel discussion between Brigitta Rademacher[4], Lia Roefs[5] and Bernard de Potter[6], moderated by Heide Jekel, emphasized the importance of international collaboration. After that, all participants joined interactive workshops. Read more about the workshops:

Throughout the day there were many opportunities to meet each other. Participants felt the water rising during the EU talks about the European climate adaptation strategy: visualizing the urgency of climate-proofing the Meuse region. Next to that, by means of a ‘river flow table’ participants could literally roll up their sleeves to make the river climate proof. A river meandered over the table and the participants could place dikes, houses or river groynes in the sand. This was playful to do, but it does involve serious choices in practice: keeping space for clean drinking and recreational water, shipping, intake for nature and agriculture, and keeping your feet dry during peak downpours. In addition, participants could enjoy the swinging band ‘@Lynn Collective’ and the Meuse film.

Thanks to all participants that joined the Meuse Rendez-vous, thanks to your enthusiasm it was an inspiring day!

[1] Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (DE)

[2] Wing

[3] Research Group Ecosystem Management, Department of Biology

[4] President of the district government – Düsseldorf (DE)

[5] Regional Minister Housing, Space, Water & Agriculture – Province of Limburg (NL)

[6] Administrator-General – Flanders Environment Agency (BE)