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LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies

Prof. Karl Wantzen - Development(s) of the River Culture Concept

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Prof. Karl Wantzen - Development(s) of the River Culture Concept

Rivers give rhythm to all life in their catchments. Floods and droughts trigger both, etho-physiological adaptations by biota, resulting in biodiversity, and one species, H. sapiens, resulting in cultural diversity. The River Culture Concept (2016) takes an attempt to re-establish harmony between humans and rivers. The five tenets of the concept include, (i)  reconsidering priorities on the use of riverine assets, (ii) integrating the natural flow regime into river management, (iii) rediscovering traditional ecological knowledge (and by no means all ancient use forms), (iv) copying natural adaptive strategies (“ecosystem bionics”), and (v) a territorial reorganization, making the catchment the central administrative unit (“bassin de responsabilité”). Practical steps focus on human-river-relationships including (i) a typology of their expressions (e.g., spiritual, religious, utilitaristic, medical), (ii) a temporal and causal analysis of the ruptures, (iii) an appreciation of still-existing, newly developed, or transformed River Culture Actions that help to manage river better, (iv) specific case studies along a gradient from more traditional to highly modernized cultures (focus on urban systems), (v) transfer and transformation studies how this knowledge can be integrated and distributed to manage rivers better. This is documented in a series of papers, PhD studies and the recent book “River Culture – Life in the rhythm of the waters” (UNESCO Publishing, 2nd half of 2021).


    Date de réalisation : 20 Janvier 2021
    Durée du programme : 29 min
    Classification Dewey : Sociologie et anthropologie
    Catégorie : Conférences
    Niveau : Tous publics / hors niveau
    Disciplines : Sciences de la société
    Collections : Managing riverscapes and flow regimes for biocultural diversity
    ficheLom : Voir la fiche LOM
    Langue : Anglais
    Mots-clés : river, environmental health


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