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Living with Rivers 2022: Feedback from the first international action dedicated to rivers

Living with Rivers, the original international action launched by the IFGR in favour of rivers came to an end on 27 October. For four months, Living with Rivers gave a digital voice to the world’s rivers, by highlighting the rivers Rhone, Senegal and Saint Lawrence, and the people who live with them. The action ended with a highly original evening whose high point was the signature of a manifesto. Did you follow this action? Whether you did or not, you can relive with us the highlights of what is to become a biennial that spotlights different rivers each time.

A highly original action intended for the general public

In our last newsletter, we told you of the launching of this original action led by the IFGR. Started on 20 June, by relying on digital resources (dedicated Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok accounts) and the publication of 50 articles on the eponymous site, Living with Rivers brought together more than 14,000 people on the social networks.

For four months, videos, podcasts, portraits, poems, accounts from artists, and analyses from experts were published online, giving life to rivers, and more particularly the Rhone, the Saint Lawrence and the Senegal, the three rivers highlighted this year. An approach that is both scientific and sensitive never seen before. The goal was clear for all to see: that of changing the attitudes of people regarding rivers and encouraging them to act.

“Living with rivers is both a rallying point and a sensitive creation.
A welcome initiative in the times we live in !”
Gilles Mulhauser, member of the organising committee,
General Manager of the Water Agency of the Canton of Geneva.

A live event to listen to the voice of rivers

The action ended on 27 October with a federating live event (see it in replay here). Jointly organised with the Musée des Confluences, in harmony with the exhibition “We, the rivers” open to the public since 21 October (until 27 August 2023), the evening was an event charged with emotion and sharing. 300 people gathered in the Main Auditorium of the museum while 1,500 people watched the event via social networks. It was coordinated by Erik Orsenna, Chairman of the IFGR and member of the French Academy, and François Pécheux, journalist and presenter of the programme “Au bout c’est la mer” (At the end there’s the sea) (France 5).

The spectators were enthralled by the live multi-location video, moved by the audio creation of Julie Rousse and the accounts of Nicolas Gilsoul, architect and landscape designer, and challenged by the warnings of Emma Haziza, hydrologist, Romain Troublé, from the Tara Océan Foundation, and Serge Zaka, farmer-climatologist. This evening was the image of Living with Rivers, which aimed at both informing the public, giving it reason to dream, and make it act to protect this reservoir of life formed by rivers.

“Let’s wager that rivers become the laboratory of transitions.”
Erik Orsenna, Chairman of the IFGR

The signature of the manifesto Let Rivers Live 

  • In line with IFGR’s mission which, for more than five years, has aimed to provide concrete solutions to protect and enhance rivers, its members announced the manifesto “Let Rivers Live” during the closing evening. Open to the signature of all, it was signed that very evening by the first organisations and persons, including Pierre Athanaze, Vice-President of Greater Lyon, Gautier Chapuis, Deputy to the Mayor of Lyon, Laurence Borie-Bancel, Chairman of the Management Board of CNR, Carolina Tornesi Mackinnon, President of the World Youth Parliament for Water, and of course the leading observers and members of IFGR. They have since been joined by a hundred other individual signatories.
  • The manifesto was the subject of a forum published by Le

The manifesto establishes that rivers are vulnerable and diminished. It is urgent to act so as to protect their future and our own. By asserting their convictions, the members of IFGR undertake together to ensure the life of rivers by proposing eight priorities in their actions: know rivers, include them in global action, accept their geography, unite them, respect them, save their deltas, anticipate their scarcity, and learn to love them. Do these priorities speak to you? You too can sign the manifesto.

Watch the replay of the live broadcast


Living with Rivers in a few figures:

  • 1,500 live views on the social networks and 310 spectators in the main auditorium (full),
  • More than 14,000 people (TikTok, Instagram, Twitter subscribers) followed the news on rivers for 4 months, with the 3 rivers given pride of place for the 2022 edition: the Rhone, the Senegal and the Saint Lawrence.
  • More than 50 articles published on the dedicated site:
  • More than 100 signatories for the Manifesto.

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