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Harmonising collaborative planning

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Learning good practices for river basin management

Participatory river basin management and its function within the European Water Framework Directive have been examined focusing specifically on social learning across 11 European case studies.

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The HARMONICOP project has heightened the understanding of participatory river basin management in Europe and supported the implementation of the Water Framework Directive on this matter. The involved research concentrated on crucial and scientifically challenging aspects such as scale issues, the role of information and information tools and the cultural, political and geographical influences. Following this was the design of Work Package 5 (WP5) which focused on obtaining first-hand experience with PP (public participation) in river basin management. In this way, the application of social processes and IC tools and models utilised at the river basin level could be examined. Furthermore issues identified in previous work packages of the project were tested and the ideas of effective PP were developed. Given this it was then possible to pinpoint the approaches that work in order to implement them as Good European Practices. The methodology consisted of a selection of case studies with a broad scope of historical, geographical and institutional backgrounds offering an analysis appropriate for a broad array of conditions. Additionally, an analytical approach based on questions gathered from earlier work packages and a cross-case study analytical template were also used. The template fused the findings regarding obstacles to social learning and the processes which underpinned social learning from the case studies in order to bring out similarities and differences. The conclusions of the research were vast. Some of these include the importance of context and team building to create resilience with the aid of facilitators and leaders and the creation of a good attitude from positive interaction.

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