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Rewilding rivers

Forum: Wetlands are our life-insurance faced with the climate and biodiversity crisis

On the occasion of the Climate COP and Ramsar held in November in Egypt and Switzerland, the Tour du Valat, the  Ramsar France Association and the French committee of the IUCN, supported by many personalities and experts, launched an appeal for new  impetus to protect wetlands. Genuine nature-based solutions, they are our most precious allies confronted by the challenges of the climate and biodiversity. It is urgent to preserve them and restore them massively!

An appeal signed by Erik Orsenna, in the name of Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers.

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A fine example of ecological rewilding on the Rhone

The Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) is involved in a global ecological restoration programme an example of which is the oxbow of Grange-Ecrasée, in Ardèche. Four years ago, this secondary branch of the river at Bourg-Saint-Andéol was dead, clogged by sediments, there were only a few pools of water covered by water primrose, an invasive aquatic plant.

Restored in the framework of a huge rewilding project on the Rhone, the oxbow is now flowing again and hosts an array of riverine species. “Here we find areas of running water on gravel beds and indigenous grasses that have led to a spectacular return of fish living in flowing water, explains Christophe Moiroud, manager of the ecological restoration programme of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône. Life recolonises quickly, once its habitats have been restored. One simply allows it to happen.”



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