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Conclusions and results of the Dam Removal Europe Workshop in Lithuania

Date: 2 – 3 July 2018

By Karolina Gurjazkaite

On 2 July the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment (Aplinkos ministerija) hosted a workshop with Dam Removal Europe in Vilnius. International experts from World Fish Migration Foundation, Karlstad University and Princeton hydro from the USA shared their knowledge and experience regarding dam removal and opening the rivers.

The workshop united an impressive audience of politicians, governmental representatives, scientists and NGOs. It was all together concluded that Lithuania has a huge potential in river restoration. To come up with viable solutions, we need to take into account social and economic aspects of the dams. This means removing dams that have lowest socio-economic value and highest potential for opening up long river sections for migratory organisms. 170 rivers in Lithuania have a protected status and it’s not allowed to build new hydropower plant in these rivers. Between 300-600 dams might be obsolete and ready to be removed. Field visits will be needed to check their current status before removal projects can be started. We are looking forward to scientifically informed decisions. I am very hopeful and believe that Lithuania can become a country that sets an example to other countries with its river management.

In the picture I am giving an interview to LRT, Lithuanian national television station, about the role of dam removal in restoring our rivers.  Herman Wanningen (World Fish Migration Foundation) did an interview with Vice Minister Martynas Norbutas of the Ministry of Environment on the future of dam removal in Lithuania.


See the full interview below.