The River Collective is a network of students, academics, researchers, conservationists and kayakers that have a passion for free-flowing rivers. They combine their resources and expertise to effectively protect rivers from unguided hydropower development and other environmental threats.
River systems are the spark that ignites life across the planet. Flora, fauna and people critically depend on healthy free-flowing rivers. We need rivers to play a vital role in local and international climate debates and biodiversity conservation.
We establish a strong collaboration between the world of science and local river conservation, to protect the remaining free-flowing rivers of Europe and the world, so they can continue being a planetary life- support system.
We bring together the world of science and river conservation, literally. Our main event is the Students for Rivers Camp (SRC); a gathering of students from various disciplines, university professors and local river defenders. Here, knowledge exchange supports innovative ideas that are transformed into practical actions for river conservation. Participants work on alternatives to hydropower development, tools to protect the rivers and other improvements to the entire watershed.
We empower and engage the local science communities. Throughout the year, we motivate scientists to join actions for the river, e.g. through ‘science chats’ or joint field work activities, where they can connect to local river conservationists. For students, this can be the first step to contribute to their community as future scientists. For river defenders, science becomes an accessible and effective tool.
We support innovative and interdisciplinary research concerning threatened watersheds. We motivate Master and PhD students to focus their thesis projects around current river conservation projects, opening up opportunities for citizen science and collaborative action with local river defenders.
We communicate this science effectively to the general public, NGOs and decision-makers to enable problem-solving. Our blog is the place where science comes to life. The collection of stories from our students and river conservationists shows the need to protect free-flowing rivers and provides contextual information explaining the challenges faced globally.