Implementing a Stakeholder Involvement Strategy to build NbS on the upper Lys river basin

Within ResiRiver, the CPIE and SYMSAGEL work together on the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to address flooding on the upper Lys river basin (FR). Five pilot sites have been identified by the SYMSAGEL, to convert initially planned dikes and basins from the third Flood Prevention Action Plan of the Lys river, into NbS using wetland and river restoration. The initial projects met some issues due to the lack of stakeholder involvement and the reinforcement of wetland protection legislation.

The CPIE has thus created a stakeholder involvement strategy based on the project needs:

1. Local stakeholders involvement (interviews, workshops, meetings)

2. Upscaling of stakeholders knowledge on how to implement and assess NbS

3. Transmission and replicability of NbS projects

4. General raising of awareness (events, animation, workshops)

Actions within this strategy have been organized, mainly through interviews with local landowners to present the project and co-create the possible scenario. From November to February, the SYMSAGEL and CPIE have met with more than 50 landowners, and with the town’s local authorities (mayors and elected representatives). These interviews brought a better understanding of the local challenges and, for the inhabitants, an opportunity to understand and get involved in the project.

The next step is to use the information collected through these interviews, to feed the scenario propositions which will be presented to the local authorities and landowners. This will serve as a base to discuss the possibilities of NbS implementation. Around 20 workshops will be planned for late spring.