Different perspectives on the world’s rivers
The Great Rivers of the World Biennial was launched in 2008 by the Anjou Maison de Loire, to provide residents of the Loire valley with a forum for exchanging ideas with residents of other rivers throughout the world about the relationship between humans and rivers. This Biennial, which takes place every two years, involves a large proportion of stakeholders and users and is a combination of awareness-oriented and more festive events. The 4 editions held to date have been a great success and have served to enhance public awareness of the river as a shared resource.
Initially, the Biennial was an initiative set up by the Anjou Maison de Loire, which hosted the event with the support of various partners. In 2012, the Loire-Authion Community of Communes (now a new commune) decided to become more actively involved in the organisation of this event.
The aim of the Biennial is to inform residents of the Loire Valley about issues relating to the river, by providing residents of the Loire valley with a forum for exchanging ideas with residents of other rivers throughout the world, who are confronted with similar problems within very different contexts.
A river in the public eye
Each of the Biennial’s editions focuses on one of the world’s rivers and invites its users and stakeholders to share their experiences with their Loire Valley counterparts.
- 2008: Niger
- 2010: Mekong
- 2012: Douro
- 2014: St. Lawrence
- 2018: Danube
A partnership has also been launched with the Grand Détour association; through the observation of nine rivers throughout the world – the Volga, Okavango, Blue Nile, Ganges, Mekong, Yangzi Jiang, Colorado, Mississipi and the Amazon – this organisation strives to raise public awareness concerning the importance of rivers, and promote the concerted and shared management of water resources. An exhibition was held in 2015.
Events throughout the region
The Biennial takes place throughout the region over a number of weeks, via a series of events involving numerous institutional stakeholders and associations. Typical highlights of the Biennial are:
- 4 evening presentations showcasing the different faces of the chosen river
- A symposium to provide new insights into this river, as a result of combining experiences relating to the Loire and the chosen river
- A grand festive weekend on the banks of the Loire to conclude the Biennial
- An educational project through which schoolchildren, the river Loire’s ambassadors, can learn about the chosen river.
Appraisal and outlook
The Biennial’s various editions have been a great success with the general public and have served to enhance public awareness of the river as a shared resource. They have also involved a large proportion of regional stakeholders, particularly community organisations, in line with the Anjou Maison de Loire’s outreach missions. The involvement of the Loire-Authion Community of Communes in 2012 has helped to ensure the financial sustainability of the event and enhance its regional impact.
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L’équipe de la Mission Val de Loire.