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Water-based solutions for carbon storage, people and wilderness

Project description

Restoration of European wetlands

Countless plants and animals depend on Europe’s wetlands, providing ideal conditions for a vast diversity of habitats and species. Wetlands also support a range of public goods and ecosystem services, for example providing water. With 50 % of European wetlands having disappeared in the last century, protecting them is a priority. The EU-funded WaterLANDS project will tackle large-scale restoration of wetland sites across Europe that have been decimated by human activity. Going beyond simple restoration, WaterLANDS will synthesise existing knowledge of ecology, community, governance and finance, and best-practice models for scalable, resilient restoration. WaterLANDS will also engage with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that wetland restoration results in tangible community gains, alongside environmental rehabilitation.


WaterLANDS aims to enable an upscaling of the restoration of wetlands. Socio-economic factors, insufficient stakeholder engagement, lack of government commitment, lack of funding and inadequate exchange of knowledge of restoration methods have all been identified as barriers to successful restoration. Consequently, most restoration has been modest in scale, has occurred mainly where there is a single landowning or responsible organisation, and has often been undertaken principally for reasons of conservation. WaterLANDS will work to overcome these barriers. It includes both Action and Knowledge Sites, the former being the object of restoration upscaling, and the latter a source of best practice experience and knowledge. To provide for local support and sustainability, it will aim for the co-design of restoration with the on-going engagement of communities and stakeholders. It will investigate best practice in ecological restoration which meets both biodiversity and social objectives and for which restoration trajectories are specific to the physical and cultural context of the Action Sites. It will propose supportive governance structures appropriate to this process and to local and national circumstances. It will identify business models, economic incentives and international funding sources and tailor or direct these resources for each site. The project will pull this expertise and knowledge together in a co-creation work package. Process-indicators will be developed to enable on-going assessment of restoration success in terms of ecosystem services, socioeconomic embedding and financial sustainability, to ensure wide-scale restoration which catalyses scalability beyond the life of the WaterLANDS project.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 392 180,00
4 Dublin

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Ireland Eastern and Midland Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (33)