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Recovery plan and crisis management: Europe and South America to the rhythm of Covid-19

In our logbook this week, we continue our investigation into the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis for river managers. Although we must already work on the aftermath to revive the sector in France, other regions in the world are still facing the epidemic peak. This is why we wanted to take up news from French Guyana. Over there, the major fear is that the virus will spread from the south, via Brazil, while France and most European countries are worried about a second wave. How can it be avoided and are the many communities, including the Amerindians, all equal in the face of the risk?

Thanks to our interlocutors for their contributions, which continue to enrich our analysis of the current crisis:

  • After telling us about the resilience of river transport in these difficult times, Thierry Guimbaud, Managing Director, wanted to talk about VNF‘s other mission, water resource management. Guaranteeing water supply and hydraulic safety remain the priorities even during the sanitary crisis. He also talked about major infrastructure projects such as the Seine North Europe Canal or services that will enable the river to play its full role in the future.

All current projects contribute to improving the economic and environmental performance of the river sector in order to guarantee its sustainable development.

  • Pierre Meffre, Director of Port Development, and Thomas San Marco, Delegate General of CNR and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lyon Terminal (CNR subsidiary in charge of handling at the Port of Lyon) also discuss the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of river transport and its development. The coming months could be difficult on the Rhône-Saône waterway ; in addition to immediate support, concerted, innovative and long-term measures must be taken to ensure that ports serve sustainable cities.


  • Finally, we headed for French Guyana, with Damien Davy, an anthropologist at CNRS who has been working closely with Amerindian populations for more than 20 years, and Mirdad Kazanji, Director of the Institut Pasteur  of French Guyana, in the front line of the health battle with other health professionals and government services. What is the current situation in this territory very close to Brazil and how are the Amerindian populations “confined to the confines of the Republic” facing?

This sharing between us, men, and the others existing, plants, animals, forests … must be that of balance. This is what the current crisis also reveals to us. The Amerindian populations can help us to avoid a predatory vision of nature – Damien Davy

Read the interviews 

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