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Large-scale strategies for more sustainable inland navigation on national or regional level are being developed. Examples include the ‘Blue Ribbon’ Programme in Germany which aims at creating a system of ecologically re-shaped waterways, by funding the renaturation of federal waterways and their floodplains. The programme focuses on the sections that are no longer needed for cargo shipping (minor waterways) but also implements “ecological stepping stones” in the major waterways (BMU/UBA, 2016). At the transboundary level of the Danube basin, a Joint Statement on Inland Navigation and Environmental Sustainability in the Danube provided principles and criteria for environmentally sustainable inland navigation, including the maintenance of existing waterways and the development of future waterway infrastructure (ICPDR, 2019).

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