The Rivers Trust, together with nine partners from Finland, Latvia, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece and Romania, has begun a 3-year project funded under the INTERREG IVC programme. TRAP – Territories of Rivers Action Plans – deals with the challenge of integrated management of rivers and their territories (or catchments). It aims to develop policies and tools to enable sustainable economic growth whilst ensuring good water quality and thereby supporting the aims of the Water Framework Directive. The project also encompasses the European Landscape Convention, addressing the protection of our landscapes including their natural and cultural heritage.

Each partner has identified various ‘good practices’ across these policy areas with the aim of using them to improve regional policies and tools. Examples include innovative approaches to wastewater treatment, water management to reduce flood risk and enhance biodiversity, the ecosystem approach to catchment management, and the sustainable development of river tourism. A number of these various practices also help to identify optimum outcomes and trade-offs where conflicts arise, for example, between a particular economic activity and water protection.

In April 2013, The Rivers Trust annual conference will be integrated with a TRAP project meeting and UK study visit. This event will provide an ideal platform to enable the exchange of good practice between the rivers trust movement (including those arising from work under WFD Pilot Catchments and the Catchment Restoration Fund) UK policymakers and the other TRAP partners.