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Results of the Network Meeting Living Lakes Germany, the Lakes Conference 2023 and the foundation of the Water Network Berlin (18.-20.01.2023)






Between 18 and 20 January 2023, the annual meeting of the Living Lakes Network Germany and the Lakes Conference took place in Berlin, which had not been held for several years due to the pandemic.


The Living Rivers Foundation, Global Nature Fund (GNF), the GRÜNE LIGA and Living Lakes Germany were pleased to be able to bring together over 120 participants over three days.


On the 18th, the network meeting of Living Lakes Germany took place at the DUH offices in Berlin. After a welcome by Dr. Thomas Schäfer and Katja Weickmann, Head of the Department of Nature Conservation and for the Living Lakes & Water Department and Programme Manager at GNF respectively, the members were able to present their work and the results of their lake research throughout Germany.


The afternoon was productive for exchange and also offered the opportunity to discuss the 2023 projects of the Living Lakes Network Germany. For example, actions and projects were envisaged in the Harz foreland, at the Geiseltalsee (post-mining landscape Halle-Leipzig), at the headwaters of the Rhine in Switzerland and in the Oder delta, which is threatened by pollution and artificial development.


Here you can access the various presentations given by members of the network:

  • Dr. Thomas Schäfer and Katja Weickmann, GNF: Opening, welcome, state of the network and internal communication.

the presentation will be available soon



  • Rüdiger Mauersberger, Association for the Promotion of the Feldberg-Uckermärkische Seenlandschaft e.V.: Can the decline of the Characean communities still be stopped? The E+E project "Chara Lakes".

the presentation will be available soon



  • Silke Oldorff, Stechlinsee: The Great Stechlinsee - problem child or beacon of hope

the presentation will be available soon



  • Katja Weickmann, GNF: Ideas Competition "Experience Nature without Barriers

the presentation will be available soon



  • Dr. Thomas Schäfer, GNFEuropean Living Lakes Association (ELLA) & Biodiversity Climate Project (IKI)

the presentation will be available soon



Current developments at the network lakes and activities of the partners :

  • Volker Kromrey, Managing Director Lake Constance Foundation : Current and future projects at Lake Constance - small selection

the presentation will be available soon




Lakes Conference 2023: 19.01.2023

The next day, 19 January, the participants and organisers met from 10 am at the betterplace Umspannwerk (bUm) on Paul-Lincke Ufer in Berlin. More than 80 participants honoured us with their presence.

After a welcoming and introduction by Dr. Thomas Schäfer, GNF, and Michael Bender, Head of the Federal Contact Point Water at the GRÜNE LIGA and Head of Water Policy at the Living Rivers Foundation, the conference started.










Michael Bender, Head of the Federal Contact Point Water at the GRÜNE LIGA and Head of Water Policy at the Living Rivers Foundation, and Dr. Thomas Schäfer, GNF.

It was divided into the following two focus areas and main topics of discussion:

  • Climate Change at Lakes and Perspectives for Natural Climate Protection in Germany



Thomas Greiber (Federal Agency for Nature Conservation – BfN) : Action Programme Natural Climate Protection

the presentation will be available soon







Michael Bender (Living Rivers Foundation) : Flash study climate change at lakes

the presentation will be available soon







Dr. Robert Schwefel (Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries – IGB) : Lakes in climate change: observations and model-based forecasts

the presentation will be available soon





Prof. Dr. Tobias Krüger (Humboldt University Berlin) : Climate Change in Berlin and Brandenburg - the CliWac Project

the presentation will be available soon






Dr. Ralf Köhler (Brandenburg State Environmental Agency) : Water structure quality of lakes and the DBU project: SuBoLakes (Sustainable Boating on Lakes in Germany)

the presentation is available here






Sabrina Schulz (Deutsche Umwelthilfe – DUH) : Natural climate protection with floodplains, peatlands, wetlands

the presentation will be available soon




  • Natural climate protection at lakes and wetlands in implementation

Bas Spanjers (ARGE KlimaMoor) : Paludiculture and peatland protection in Brandenburg

the presentation will be available soon


Round table discussion "Natural climate protection at lakes and wetlands in implementation" - impulses from :



Dr. Thomas Schäfer, Dr. Edith Reck-Miethe, Frank Apffelstaedt, Bas Spanjers und Volker Kromrey.










Frank Apffelstaedt (Naturschutzring Dümmer) : Reeds renaturation at the lake Dümmer

the presentation will be available soon







Dr. Edith Reck-Mieth (Wasser Otter Mensch) : Project ideas from Holstein Switzerland (SH) for the implementation of the Action Programme Natural Climate Protection

the presentation will be available soon






Volker Kromrey (Lake Constance Foundation) : Small water bodies and natural climate protection at Lake Constance

the presentation will be available soon






Dr. Thomas Schäfer (Global Nature Fund – GNF) : Summary of next steps of the Living Lakes Network Germany

the presentation will be available soon






Lakes Conference 2023 und Launch of the Berlin Water Network (Wassernetz Berlin): 20.01.2023

The launch event and the Berlin Water Network are kindly funded by the German Post Code Lottery.


On this second and last day of the Lakes Conference, more than 80 participants gathered at the bUm from 9:30 am. Michael Bender (GRÜNE LIGA Berlin e.V.) and Manfred Schubert (Berliner Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Naturschutz BLN e.V.) opened the conference with a few introductory words on the third topic: Lakes and Wetlands in Berlin.




Michael Bender und Manfred Schubert.










An extraordinary panel discussion was initiated by the new Managing Director of the Nature Protection Foundation Berlin, Stefan Richter, and Dr Silke Karcher, State Secretary for the Environment and Climate Protection.


 Dr. Silke Karcher


The environmental representatives from the House of Representatives also honoured us with their presence and reported on water protection in the political arena. Present were:

Danny Freymark, MdA - CDU

Felix Reifschneider, MdA – FDP

Nina Lerch, MdA – SPD

Katalin Gennburg, MdA – DIE LINKE

Benedikt Lux, MdA – Bündnis 90/Die Grünen 


Felix Reifschneider, Benedikt Lux, Katalin Gennburg, Nina Lerch and Danny Freymark.



This day was specifically dedicated to the foundation of Wassernetz Berlin, formerly Aktionsnetz Kleingewässer. Christian Schweer, Berliner DSC02776.JPGLandesarbeitsgemeinschaft Naturschutz (BLN) e.V., presented the partners, goals, measures and action scope of Wassernetz Berlin.

the presentation will be available soon




This was followed by a presentation by Antje Köhler, SenUMVK (Senate for Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Protection of the Climate) Berlin, on the ecological situation of Berlin's lakes and small bodies of water against the background of climatic and demographic change.

the presentation will be available soon




Launch event of the Berlin Water Network: 20.01.2023

The launch event and the Berlin Water Network are kindly supported by the Lotto Foundation Berlin (Lotto Stiftung Berlin).









The various stakeholders of the Berlin Water Network, the representatives of public authorities and the environmental policy representatives of the Berlin House of Representatives at the Lakes Conference on 20 January 2023 in Berlin.

At the launch event organised as part of the Lakes Conference, the Berlin State Working Group for Nature Conservation (BLN), BUND, GRÜNE LIGA Berlin e.V., Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, NABU Berlin and a tip:tap founded Wassernetz Berlin. The civil society network sets unprecedented goals until 2026 to advance the urgent improvement of watercourses, lakes and groundwater in the city.


The Water Network is the answer to the increasing water and biodiversity crisis in Berlin: all of the running and still waters studied are obstructed, polluted or drying up. Over 50% of them are in an ecologically unsatisfactory to poor condition. "We have joined forces to make water protection a priority in Berlin and to make visible progress throughout the city," says Manfred Schubert, Managing Director of BLN, which is responsible for the project.


"Thanks to the close cooperation between the associations, the Water Network can be active in all districts and at more than 40 water bodies to promote ecological improvements and participation. The public dialogues on the banks will provide important impulses," explains Andrea Gerbode, board member of BUND Berlin, which initiated the network.


"In cooperation with the responsible authorities, the network will be involved in at least 19 water bodies, for example planting riparian trees, developing reed beds or unsealing paved areas," says Sandra Kolberg, managing director of the GRÜNE LIGA Berlin e.V.. The action sites include, for example, the Heidekampgraben, the Königssee, the Große Krampe or the groundwater pond.


"For all action waters, we would like to recruit local supporters to keep an eye on a particular stretch of water," adds Juliana Schlaberg, nature conservation officer of the NABU Berlin regional association. Interested parties can also help with water surveys.


In addition, the Water Network provides information and organises state-wide workshops on key topics such as landscape water balance, water quality or biotope networks. "For those who are interested, these offers are a good opportunity to find out more about the topics and to network with other active people. In this way, practical solutions and activities can be developed together," says Silke Voigt-Heucke, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.


The network will also get involved politically to ensure that the necessary decisions and measures are taken at all levels. "The European Water Framework Directive is a strong right for our blue lifelines. Compliance with the environmental targets is long overdue. For example, Berlin also needs to invest significantly more in cleanliness in order to protect our natural drinking water resources and forests"; informs Samuel Höller, Managing Director of a tip:tap e.V. "We are already thinking beyond 2026."


"We finally need effective water protection in Berlin as well as nationwide, because water protection is natural climate protection. The joint commitment here in Berlin is a blueprint for comparable initiatives throughout Germany," confirms Dr Thomas Schäfer of the Global Nature Fund.


The Water Network is funded by the Lotto Foundation Berlin. It emerged from the Water Network Initiative with the project "Action Network Small Water Bodies", which set the first positive examples for the upgrading of watercourses and lakes in 2022. Today, the Water Network has launched a project website that provides information on dates and activities:  

  • Manfred Schubert (Berliner Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Naturschutz - BLN
  • Juliana Schlaberg (NABU Berlin): the presentation will be available soon
  • Christian Schweer (BUND Berlin): the presentation will be available soon
  • Michael Bender / Athénaïs Georges (GRÜNE LIGA Berlin e.V.)
  • Julia Rostin (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
  • Annika Brunner (A tip:tap)
  • Karin Drong (Naturschutzzentrum Ökowerk Berlin) : the presentation will be available soon
  • Johanna Erdmann (Aktiv der Blue Community Berlin
  • Jan Edler (Flussbad Berlin): the presentation will be available soon
  • Beate Ernst (Alles im Fluss - Wir Berlin): the presentation will be available soon
  • Franziska Braunschädel (Clean River Project


You can find a short presentation of Wassernetz Berlin here: Brief profile of Wassernetz Berlin


We are always happy to welcome new members to our network. If you would like to participate in our dialogue events, upgrading measures, work-shops, etc., please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





















The press conference held on 20.01.2023 with stakeholders of Wassernetz Berlin and the environmental policy representatives of the Berlin House of Representatives.  


In the afternoon, an active exchange between the interested future participants and the project partners took place at a networking meeting of Wassernetz Berlin. The participants were able to discuss the main topics of landscape water balance and water quality. Together we developed questions and offers on this topic. 

The results of this discussion can be found here: Networking Meeting Water Network Berlin


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10:00 -
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