The Refreshing H2O Policy workshop built on a rich basis of contributions by experts from all over Europe and beyond, followed by lively discussions either in groups of in plenary, on eight themes:

So, what did the 80+ European economists, social scientists, decision makers and stakeholder representatives who attended the EU workshop Refreshing H20 policy deliver? After the end of the event, 12 messages have emerged from thematic sessions:

  • Capturing the socio-economic importance of freshwater and marine ecosystems;
  • Cost-recovery and financing;
  • Decrypting our future;
  • Supporting choices and decisions on priority actions;
  • Uncertainty, shock and resilience;
  • Supporting policy making with a natural capital perspective;
  • Social challenges and change of behavior;
  • Policy processes and governance.

On this basis, two documents are now available:

  • A synthesis of workshop discussions, illustrating the key highlights and messages, the way forward and recommendations on the eight thematic areas;
  • A compendium of all experts’ contributions to the workshop, a unique and rich collection of good practices in applying social and economic thinking in support to blue policy and management.

We hope that these documents will serve as a source of inspiration for those policy makers, researchers and practitioners wanting to innovate their current practices and make further step towards in facing present and future challenges, including climate change.

Key messages emerging from the thematic sessions

1 – Widen the focus

2 – Give attention to policy processes and governance

3 – Give due consideration to the multiple facets of uncertainty to avoid additional risks

4 – Set the processes right

5 – Set the right incentives to steer cooperation and avoid silo thinking

6 – Move beyond bureaucratic requirements

7 – Bring fresh and marine waters higher in political agendas

8 – Better embed fresh and marine waters in financial decisions

9 – Share knowledge, including on failures

10 – Build capacity and awareness

11 – Create the right narrative

12 – Set up a European community of practice on the social and economic challenges of fresh and marine water decision making

Key figures of the event