European Wilderness Society

World Rivers Day

World Rivers Day, celebrated on September 24th, is a global event dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of rivers and their conservation. It encourages people to engage in activities like river cleaning, educational programs, riverbank restoration projects and river rewinding. 

This day highlights the vital role rivers play in providing freshwater, supporting ecosystems, and in a case of wild river learn about river spontaneous dynamic. It serves as a reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve these invaluable natural resources.

First celebration of the World Rivers Day 

World Rivers Day has been celebrated since 2005. It was initiated by Canadian river conservationist Mark Angelo, who believed that rivers deserved their own dedicated day of recognition. 

Since then, it has grown into a global event observed on the last Sunday in September each year. World Rivers Day aims to foster public awareness and engagement in river conservation efforts

Preserving the Vjosa’s free-flowing state, not only safeguards a unique natural treasure but also sets an example for river conservation worldwide

Reason to celebrate the rivers

World Rivers Day remind that the rivers are crucial ecosystems that provide many benefits. Besides clean water and sustain communities worldwide also support biodiversity and provides many examples of spontaneous rivers rewilding.

By celebrating World Rivers Day, we recognize the significance of rivers in our lives and pledge to safeguard them for future generations.

Impact of the World Rivers Day

Since the first celebration of World Rivers Day in 2005, there have been several notable changes in river protection efforts. Increased awareness and advocacy have led to the implementation of more stringent regulations and policies aimed at safeguarding rivers. Specific activities focus on rivers active or passive rewilding.

Many communities and organizations have initiated river restoration projects. Besides that there is greater recognition of the vital role rivers play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, challenges like pollution and over-extraction persist, underscoring the ongoing need for global commitment to river protection and conservation. 

There are only few free-flowing wild rivers in Europe. Particularly in central Europe. Small segments of rivers without dams or channels can be rarely find in several European countries.

Albanian’s great contribution to the World Rivers Day

Albania provides a great contribution to the World Rivers Day by protection of the Vjosa Wild River. Preserving the Vjosa’s free-flowing state, from source to sea, it protect one of Europe’s last wild river. This river not only safeguards a unique natural treasure but also sets an example for river conservation worldwide. 

This effort highlights the importance of protecting ecologically significant rivers and their associated ecosystems, aligning with the spirit and goals of World Rivers Day, which advocates for the conservation and sustainable management of rivers globally

There are only few free-flowing segments of wild rivers in Europe. Segments without dams or channels can be find in Slovakia – Bela River, Italy – Tagliamento River, Slovenia and Croatia – Drava River, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sutjeska River or Montenegro – Tara River. None of them is protecting river from source to sea. Albanian Vjosa Wild River is unique. It is protected from source in the Pindus mountains (Greece) to the sea, in a length about 345 km. 

Viera Vydarena
Wilderness Volunteer

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