Nature today | Waterlands: Towards restoring European wetlands
These changes are expected to amplify the impact of climate change, with negative consequences for both nature and humans. The WaterLANDS project does not see restoring nature in isolation and therefore aims to gather knowledge from countless individual restoration projects in order to come up with solutions that not only benefit nature, but also the local people.
The guiding principle here is to restore wetland resilience in the landscape and socio-economic context. The most promising solutions are being tested in practice by restoring 10,500 hectares of wetlands. To achieve this, a team of 31 different partners spread over 14 countries from scientific, commercial, government and non-profit institutions will work over the next five years with a budget of €23 million.
European Green Deal
WaterLANDS is part of the European Green Deal, an ambitious program of the European Commission to combat climate change. The Netherlands is well represented in the project by Wageningen University & Research, Radboud University, Wetlands International, the province of Groningen and Staatsb Glosbeheer. Within Wageningen University & Research, the WaterLANDS team consists of four scientists with complementary backgrounds.
Read more about Projects in the European Green Deal in which Wageningen University & Research participates.
Wageningen Scholars on WaterLANDS:
Doctor. Melina Holmgren (Ecosystem Resilience Expert): “It is clear that the water resources on which life depends must be protected. There is very little of it. The greatest chance for success lies in working together to understand the connections between aquatic and terrestrial biomes, and natural and social systems.”
Professor Dr. Dr.. Francisco Albezar (Environmental and Natural Resources Economist): “Water scarcity is becoming a serious problem. We are facing a game changer. What we used to do will not work in the future. There have already been conflicts over water. It will increase as climate change increases. We must now make decisions about recovery, to secure our fresh water.”
Doctor. Jantsje van Loon (experts on climate adaptation and nature-based flood risk management): “Given climate change and the risks associated with it, it is important to seek sustainable and green solutions together with a wide range of stakeholders.”
Doctor. Juul Limpens (expert in plant ecology and nature management): “I work with scientists and nature managers as well as farmers. Usually these are separate worlds. However, sometimes, they come together and solutions are devised that benefit nature and people. I think we need this synergy to keep Europe livable for future generations.”
text: Wageningen Environmental Research
Photo: Brian Sumner
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