The idea behind the cooperation with others is to join forces and capabilities in order to assist each other in achieving common goals/objectives. However, this will only work if there is no conflicting mission, vision and ambition. Under that condition, cooperation on a ‘case-by-case’ basis can also be considered.
Cooperating networks or organizations
The Central Dredging Association, CEDA, is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental, professional society. It provides a forum for all those involved in activities related to dredging and who live or work in Europe, Africa or the Middle-East. CEDA encompasses a wide range of disciplines and activities and does not represent the interests of any particular industry sector. CEDA is a member of the World Organisation of Dredging Associations, WODA (www.woda.org).
The general objectives of Common Forum are to develop strategies for the management and treatment of contaminated sites and for land recycling with respect to “sustainable resource protection” for contaminated land and groundwater. Common Forum holds regular meetings to discuss important and current issues in these fields. When possible, common views are developed and expertise is offered to the European Commission, relevant stakeholder networks and European Union research projects. Many Common Forum members participate in stakeholder groups in European Union research projects or participate in discussions at workshops where results of European Union projects are presented.
The publication of the European Union thematic strategy for the protection of soil by the European Commission in 2002 marked the transition towards a more formal European Union policy. As most Common Forum members need to advise their Ministers in the European Union Soil policy discussion, an exchange of technical arguments and information on political positions is very informative even if they lead to different national conclusions.
|Common Forum intends to continue to provide this “mutual professional support” by:|
|•||being a platform for exchange of knowledge and experiences,|
|•||establishing a discussion platform on policy, research, technical and managerial concepts of contaminated land,|
|•||being a platform for initiating and following-up of international projects among members,|
|•||offering an exchange of expertise to the European Commission and to European networks.|
DGE started as an informal bilateral platform between Germany and The Netherlands at administration level (Dutch-German Exchange). The main objective is the exchange of knowledge, information and experience in the field of dredged material management. Since its beginnings in 1999, several meetings have been organized, in which subjects such as legislation, risk assessment and dredged material treatment were discussed. The results of these discussions have been put down in thematic reports which can be downloaded from the SedNet website. Since 2005 DGE has been extended to DGE+ with new member countries UK, France, Belgium, and Denmark.
The Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association is an international organisation dedicated to the study of all aspects of estuarine and coastal marine science, and also the application of science for conservation and environmental management. Although the traditional focus of ECSA lies in Europe, activities, interests and membership now extend to many other global regions. ECSA has been involved in the organization of nearly 50 conferences to date, averaging one or more major events each year. Conferences have been held worldwide with future events planned for South Africa, China and various locations across Europe. ECSA has also supported many local meetings concerning individual estuaries or coastal areas, and occasionally arranges scientific workshops. ECSA has an associated international journal Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science and also supports the production of a variety of other scientific publications including a Bulletin for members, with two issues each year. ESCA is the successor to the Estuarine and Brackish-Water Sciences Association which was founded in 1971. ECSA is a registered charity.
The mission of the European Sea Ports Organisation, ESPO, is to influence public policy in the EU to achieve a safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable European port sector, operating as a key element of a transport industry where free and undistorted market conditions prevail, as far as practicable.
Euraqua is the European network of Freshwater Research Organisations. The aim of this network is to contribute to the development of European freshwater science and its dissemination on a European scale. Thus it has a significant input on the development of the scientific basis of European water management. The EurAqua Partner institutions are leading, generally governmental, freshwater research institutions in the Member States of the European Union plus Norway and Switzerland.
|EuroGeoSurveys is an organisation of 32 European Geological Surveys. Their statutory aims are to address European issues, to promote contribution of geosciences to EU affairs, to assist EU to obtain technical advice and to provide a network between the geological surveys.|
EuroGeoSurveys aims at providing the European Institutions with expert, neutral, balanced and practical pan-European advice and information as an aid to problem-solving, policy, regulatory and programme formulation in areas such as:
|•||the use and the management of on- and off-shore natural resources related to the subsurface of the Earth, (energy, including the renewable geothermal energy; minerals and water, soils, underground space and land);|
|•||the identification of natural hazards of geological origin, their monitoring and the mitigation of their impacts (deficit or excess of trace elements in soils and waters, earthquakes, natural emissions of hazardous gases, landslides and rockfalls, land heave and subsidence, shrinking and swelling clays;|
|•||environmental management, waste management and disposal; land-use planning;|
|•||sustainable urban development and safe construction;|
|•||e- government and the access to geoscientific metadata and data;|
|•||the development of interoperable and harmonised geoscientific data at the European scale.|
The portal of EuroGeoSurveys provides an access to geoscientific metadata, information and knowledge at European and national scales, following the links in the thematic pages. It also presents information on EuroGeoSurveys its activities and the Member Organizations.
The Network of reference laboratories for monitoring of emerging environmental pollutants NORMAN started its activities in September 2005 with the financial support of the European Commission and it is now established as a permanent self-sustaining network, of reference laboratories, research centres and related organisations for the monitoring and bio-monitoring of emerging environmental substances.
|The NORMAN mission is to:|
|•||enhance the exchange of information and collection of data on emerging environmental substances;|
|•||encourage the validation and harmonisation of common measurement methods and monitoring tools so that the demands of risk assessors can be better met;|
|•||ensure that knowledge on emerging pollutants is maintained and developed by stimulating coordinated, interdisciplinary projects on collaborative, problem-oriented research and knowledge transfer to address identified needs.|
NORMAN operates via the organisation of a number of activities, including expert group meetings, workshops, databases and methods validation exercises.
PIANC, the world association for waterborne transport infrastructure, is a worldwide non-political and non-profit making technical and scientific organization of private individuals, corporations and national governments. PIANC’s objective is to promote the maintenance and operation of both inland and maritime navigation by fostering progress in the planning, design, construction, improvement, maintenance and operation of inland and maritime waterways and ports and of coastal areas for general use in industrialized and industrializing countries. Facilities for fisheries, sport and recreational navigation are included in PIANC’s activities. PIANC was founded in 1885 and is the oldest international association concerned with these technical aspects of navigation. It has made – and continues to make – a vital contribution to technical development in this field.
River Basin Commissions
The catchment areas of several important European rivers fall within the territories of more than one country. International Commissions were established by the countries along these rivers and by the European Commission to jointly ensure the sustainable and equitable use of waters and freshwater resources in the transboundary river basins. To date SedNet already co-operates with the International Commissions for the Protection of the Rhine (www.iksr.org), the Elbe (www.ikse.de), the Danube (www.icpdr.org), and the Oder (www.mkoo.pl).
The International Sediment Initiative (ISI) is expected to add a new dimension to ongoing efforts aiming at sustainable sediment management, in the context of sustainable water resources development at global scale. Hence, its mission directly relates to the commitments of the international community expressed in major documents such as the Millennium Development Goals, the Rio Declaration of Sustainable Development, the World Water Assessment Programme, World Water Development Reports, etc. By its activity, the International Sediment Initiative aims to uphold the importance of sustainable sediment management within the context of the two United Nations decades which have set-up in 2005: the ‘Water for Life Decade’ and the ‘Decade for Education for Sustainable Development’. With direct access to stakeholders represented in the IHP National Committees and the Intergovernmental Council, ISI should be viewed as a vehicle to advance sediment management at the global scale.
|Through international cooperation in the area of erosion and sediment management, ISI aims to:|
|•||Strengthen, at global level, awareness about the importance of erosion and sediment processes and their impacts.|
|•||Promote exchange of information on relevant data, monitoring and management methods, including the use of global environmental observation systems.|
|•||Foster cooperation in erosion and sediment-related research and education.|