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Project Integrated Evaluation for Sustainable River Basin Governance

- Water is a basic source of life and its availability at adequate quantities and qualities is necessary for humans, economic production and ecosystems. The process of evaluating and authorising "water-related" interventions/projects is critical in the context of sustainable river basin governance. Evaluations to date, have in many cases failed to account for sustainability concerns. A number of projects have been approved and financed whose economic, social and especially, environmental costs and benefits were highly contested. This may be explained by the fact that the evaluation process continues to be economy-oriented and the environmental and social dimensions are only accounted for after the most cost competitive option has been selected. Moreover, in many cases the evaluation process continues to be "closed" to multiple interests, "screening off" certain alternatives and criteria for assessment. The new Water Framework Directive establishes the river basin as the sensible geographical unit upon which resource governance may achieve its sustainability objectives, and asks for the prior evaluation and authorisation of all new river basin interventions. However, the directive does not provide extensive guidance to the river basin authorities on how to carry such evaluations. Unless the evaluation procedure of new projects evolves into a new, multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder participatory approach, river basin objectives as expressed in the new Water Framework Directive will be at stake.

Project number EVK1-CT-2000-00074
Geographical coverage Portugal, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands
Budget (in €) n/a
Programme INCO MED (FP5)
Web site
Objectives - ADVISOR's main objective is to provide an integrated project evaluation framework and methodology for the sustainable governance of Europe's river basins. It aims to develop a set of guidelines to implicated EU river basin authorities and agencies describing an integrated project evaluation process, establishing criteria for assessing the "sustainability quality" of an evaluation process and providing a number of practical tools to operationalise the proposed guidelines.
Results The final outcome will be achieved through the: establishment of an integrated theory and understanding of the process of evaluation of river basin projects in the EU; development and testing of a number of practical evaluation tools and the proposal of an integrated methodology for the evaluation of river basin projects in the EU. The project aims to operationalise the principles of integrated assessment and the post-normal scientific paradigm into the solution of a "policy gap" of outmost EU importance.
Period [01/02/2001 - 01/10/2004]


  • ECOMAN - Portuguese Ecological Economics and Management Centre
    Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
    Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (New University of Lisbon)
    Country Portugal
    Contact Mme Paula Antunes,
    Position: Project coordinator
    Phone/fax: ,