AMBER is actively cooperating with other European projects related to rivers such as SUDOANG, project which works towards the conservation of the European eel and its habitat in the SUDOE area. Due to environmental and economic factors as well as the lack of coordination between actors involved in its conservation, the European eel is critically endangered. The main objective of the SUDOANG project (Interreg EU) is to provide to the managers of the SUDOE area (France, Portugal and Spain) with homogeneous methods to monitoring the European eel population effectively and strengthen cooperation between the three countries. An interactive web application will be created including all the tools needed to implement the management plans. Data on eel population from the SUDOE area will be collected to model the eel response to the fishing exploitation, the presence of obstacles or the mortality caused by turbines of power plants. Recently AEMS Rios con Vida attended a SUDOANG workshop in A Coruña (Spain) both representing AMBER, as target group in Spain and member of the advisory council. The work performed by AMBER collecting all data of barriers in European rivers has been highly valued by the SUDOANG team, as they can use the AMBER Atlas as a reference to build up their database required for the project. During the first part of the workshop when technical progress and results were presented, Sara Garrido (AEMS Rios con Vida) shared the AMBER work performed to build the Atlas of Barriers in European Rivers, including the collection of data, its analysis and subsequent map construction. The second part of the workshop was focused on communication, as one of the objectives of SUDOANG is to improve communication between actors involved in eel management, exploitation, conservation and research. The event joined together 28 people from Portugal, Spain and France. Among those in attendance were fishermen, scientists, NGOs and administrations. The communication seminar provided the opportunity to built trust among the participants and actively engaged them in communication tactics to break tensions and exchange impressions and feelings about the project, their role in it and its effect on their daily lives. The exercises, led by the partner Lonxanet and specialized trainers, emphasized the commonalities among participants and how to align their visions of success. The final exercise focused on helping participants develop a more holistic view of the project and overcome the tendency to see it only from the perspective of their professional role or position. There was good participation, interaction, different expectations and perspectives, opportunities to listen to the other participants. The change of attitudes and the overcoming of preconceived ideas do not take place overnight; it is a progressive change that will develop over time, hopefully within the span of the SUDOANG project!
Read more about the project, in Spanish, here