Cultural Landscapes of mountain
and highland river valleys

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SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT

The project aims to strengthen the established bilateral links for long term co-operation between University of Agriculture in Krakow (Poland) and Uni Environment (Norvay) through scientific knowledge exchange, covering the area of the restoration and protection of waterbodies and mountain and highland river valleys. Seminars and workshops will serve as a key for this exchange. The high quality of seminars and the overview of the most recent scientific achievements will be ensured by the participation of prominent scientists from Norway and Poland as well as invited guests from Europe, experienced in research on cultural landscape protection. Seminars will focus on interdisciplinary research on river ecosystem and cultural landscape protection (biology, hydrobiology, ecology, geomorphology, hydrology, hydromorphology, spatial economy, land surveying, environmental legislation).

The aim of the project is to discuss instruments concerning the shaping of cultural landscapes of mountain and highland river valleys at the interdisciplinary level. Invited specialists, competent in various disciplines, on the basis of their own experiences as well as case-studies from their countries, will present and discuss both transformation and conservation of cultural wealth within river valley reaches. Attention will be paid to the possibilities of improvement of water retention capacity, anti-erosion soil protection, land-use change and flood hazard reduction. In this issue, during seminars taking place in west-Norwegian mountain fjord areas, project partners will successively discuss how executed modifications (e.g. urbanization, development of hydro-electric power, change in agriculture and fish farming) of chosen river valley ecosystems have affected the whole cultural landscape. A further aim of the project is to discuss the conservation possibilities of the cultural landscape of the Raba River valley, between the water reservoir in Dobczyce and Gdów. The knowledge and experience gained by this exchange is of a great importance for participants from Poland, in the light of the EU Water Framework Directive and European Landscape Convention implementation in this country.

An immediate project result will be the establishment of a Polish-Norwegian research network on highland and mountain river valley restoration, conservation and planning. During project implementation, a report will be published and an internet database will be established, both presenting the state of the art, challenges and best practices examples in the field of unique cultural landscapes in Norway, Poland and Europe.

An indirect result of the bilateral project will be further scientific development of Norwegian and Polish institutions, including collective preparation of EU research projects concerning cultural shaping of chosen river valleys in project partners' countries. Partners from relevant international research institutions will be invited to cooperate.