In October 2018, a number of biosphere reserves have been invited by UNESCO to participate in the Wuhan Forum in China, dedicated to the management and protection of the world’s major rivers; the Nile, the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Danube, the Niger, the Rio Grande, the Mekong, the Brahmaputra, the Volga, the Ganges, the Saint-Laurent… and of course the Yang Tse Kiang Rriver, they were all represented at this international event.

For 3 days, 70 experts from 30 countries and more than 500 participants have gathered to discuss the issues associated to river management and share their positive experiences for a sustainable and harmonious socio-hydrological relationship.

Representatives of the Volzhsko-Kamsky Biosphere Reserve in Russia, the Dordogne Basin in France, the Terres de l‘Ebre in Spain and the Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve project attended this event. They shared many lessons learned on various issues such as governance, cross-border cooperation, citizen participation, biodiversity protection or the environmental and societal integration of hydroelectricity.

This forum offered an opportunity to remind the Dordogne Basin Biosphere Reserve’s desire to create a thematic group on continental aquatic ecosystems within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The event also provided an opportunity to make primary contacts with the UNESCO Chair “Rivers and Heritage” and the UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme. Some promising cooperation prospects for the future, which will offer a place for the Biosphere Reserves to keep on sharing their experience within the network.