By winning the IRF European Riverprize and 25,000 euros in prize money, the river basin management and revitalisation programme along the Mur River was automatically transferred to the next level: the finals of the Thiess International Riverprize 2015. This prize was established in 1999 in commemoration of the engineer Ken Thiess and, alongside the IRF European Riverprize and the Australian Riverprize, is a category of the International RiverFoundation's Riverprize, one of the world's most prestigious environmental awards giving recognition to outstanding visionary and sustainable best practice programmes in river management. In 2015, a further category has been added to the initiative with the New Zealand Riverprize.
From its head office in Brisbane, Australia, IRF endeavours to improve the condition of the world's rivers, wetlands and lakes in the interest of the people depending on them. IRF's Twinning programme provides a platform of experience exchange among the relevant agencies and organisations. Riverprize winners and finalists are particularly welcome to take part in this programme. IRF is funded by private donors, companies and governments.
International Riversymposium, Brisbane, 21-24 September
The International Riversymposium (Brisbane, 21-24 September) sets the stage for the presentation of the finalists of this year's Thiess International Riverprize, the Australian Riverprize and the New Zealand Riverprize. The theme of the 2015 event is "Healthy Rivers - Healthy Economies". This is not surprising as water is a key topic on the agenda of many companies. The World Economic Forum 2015 identified the decreasing quality and quantity of freshwater as the most significant risk faced by our modern world. The status of our rivers is, without doubt, a decisive factor in our lives and our economies.
The goal pursued by the International Riversymposium 2015 is to bring the companies depending on water resources and rivers together with scientists, local government representatives and other political decision-makers to discuss the relationships between healthy rivers and economic success from a variety of global perspectives.
The programme features more than twenty keynote speeches by acclaimed experts as well as ten sessions on specific key issues. At the same time, the event provides a platform for presenting those river management projects that have made it to the finals of the three aforementioned prizes. The winner in each category will be announced during the Gala Dinner.
The finalists are Australia, the Middle East & Central Europe
The Thiess International Riverprize has already produced 15 winning projects and over 50 finalists. The finalists in 2015 are the following three programmes:
The Lake Eyre Basin in Australia, the Jordan River Rehabilitation Project and the comprehensive revitalisation project for the Mur River.