Moderation of the large-scale nature conservation project Hamburg, deine Flussnatur started

corsus has been commissioned by BUKEA, the Ministry for Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture with the moderation of the large-scale nature conservation project “Hamburg, deine Flussnatur” (Hamburg,your river nature). This task will be carried out by corsus in close cooperation with the project managing foundation Lebensraum Elbe (habitad Elbe) for the next three years.
The large-scale nature conservation project “Hamburg, deine Flussnatur” aims to ecologically develop and enhance selected Hamburg watercourses. The people of Hamburg are to be given a positive experience of nature and recreation along living waterway corridors. In addition, the diverse use of Hamburg’s water bodies is included. corsus is responsible for listening to and bringing together the actors involved and their interests. Through professional and goal-oriented moderation, the preparatory planning is mapped out within the framework of the project and the creation of a maintenance and development plan is initiated.
The city of Hamburg is characterized by its flowing waters – the most prominent being the Alster and Elbe – and their tributaries. The city’s waters are attractive and their use ranges from water sports of all kinds, local recreation and fishing to navigation. “Hamburg, deine Flussnatur” looks at 35 bodies of water with around 375 kilometers of shoreline. Even though there have already been initiatives in the recent past to enhance and renaturalize Hamburg’s watercourses, many watercourses have further ecological development potential. There are several reasons for this, including historical ones. The use of rivers as waterways, as well as drainage measures and building development, have led to relocation and straightening. Excavation of river beds or stream channels also adversely affects flow velocity, naturalness, and species composition. Often, a land-to-water transition area is missing, leaving animals with no barrier-free access to the water body. In addition, habitat fragmentation poses a problem for dispersal pathways of animal and plant species. However, structurally rich streams with high species diversity have greater resilience. This concerns both water quality due to biophysical self-purification processes and protection against desiccation. The latter in particular is of importance that should not be underestimated in times of emerging climate catastrophe, which is heralded by an increase in drought, warming and extreme weather events, not least for the urban climate.
“Hamburg, deine Flussnatur” has therefore set itself the task of reconnecting the city’s flowing water biotopes, promoting naturalness, species and structural diversity and improving the connection between land and water. A sustainable development concept is to ensure that natural watercourses are promoted and that extreme weather events are buffered in the long term. The resulting connectivity axes serve to facilitate the migration and dispersal of wildlife and plants. By directing the use, the necessary balance between experienceability, attractiveness and protection of the water corridors can be achieved.
In this large-scale nature conservation project, the corsus team will strive to lead the stakeholders involved with their respective interests in a constructive and goal-oriented dialogue. The first step is to listen to the individual points of view, to identify possible lines of conflict and then to work out common ground, concrete objectives and measures. In doing so, corsus attaches particular importance to respectful and appreciative interaction between the participants. Constructive solutions are developed in workshops and other participation formats. This is where corsus’ many years of experience in moderation and process support come into play. We are looking forward to this comprehensive project and the cooperation with the Foundation Habitat Elbe and the Authority for Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture.

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