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Water-based solutions for carbon storage, people and wilderness (WaterLANDS)


Wetlands retain and purify water, remove pollutants and excess nutrients, store atmospheric carbon, moderate flooding and coastal storms, support an immense variety of wildlife, and offer recreational, well-being and economic benefits to surrounding communities. When mismanaged, these essential services for landscapes and society are lost.

Through eight Work Packages, the WaterLANDs project is working to restore wetlands sites across Europe which have been damaged by human activity and laying the foundations for upscaling protection across more areas. WaterLANDS has 7 objectives:

  1. Demonstrate large-scale waterlands restoration;
  2. Identify barriers to the upscaling of restoration and how to overcome them;
  3. Provide integrated, co-designed solutions through multidisciplinary collaboration with a common aim of informing restoration at identified "Action Sites";
  4. Apply a community-led paradigm of stakeholder engagement and co-design or co-creation;
  5. Inform restoration with knowledge learned from former or existing projects and "knowledge Sites";
  6. Provide tailored restoration and financial plans for each restoration site;
  7. Communicate results and create legacy through guidelines , tools, information, knowledge and facilities to support restoration at a continental scale.

The project is spread across 6 ‘Action Sites’ (Ireland. U.K, Netherlands, Estonia, Italy, Bulgaria) where actions are needed to restore damaged freshwater and coastal wetlands, and 15 ‘Knowledge Sites’ (Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, U. K., Austria, Bulgaria, France) which have been identified as examples of where successful restoration has been achieved (be this in terms of public engagement, supportive governance mechanisms, successful financial incentivisation, or physical restoration of habitats and ecosystem services). The Action Sites will function as best practice examples of restoration, demonstrating how upscaling can be achieved at the regional and national level, while Knowledge Sites will allow past experiences to inform future wetland restoration.

Project information


University College Dublin, Ireland


National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Ireland; LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature, Ireland; Community Wetlands Forum (CWF), Ireland; ERINN Innovation, Ireland; IUCN UK Peatland Programme, United Kingdom; Natural England (NE), United Kingdom; University of Leeds, United Kingdom; Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Spain; Landscape Finance Lab, Austria; Prospex Institute (PI) , Belgium; World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Bulgaria, Bulgaria; Balkani Wildlife Society (BWS), Bulgaria; University of Tartu (UT) , Estonia; Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF), Estonia; Estonian State Forest Management Centre (RMK), Estonia; Tootsi Turvas (ToTu), Estonia; Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Finland; University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Finland; Plan Bleu, France; Tour du Valat (TdV), France; Michael Succow Foundation (MSF), Germany;University of Venice (UniVe), Italy; We are here Venice (WahV), Italy; Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Wetlands International (WI), The Netherlands; Radboud University (RU), the Netherlands; Provincie Groningen, The Netherlands; Staatsbosbeheer (SBB), the Netherlands; Centrum Ochrony Mokradel (CMok), Poland; University of Warsaw (UW), Poland; Uppsala University, Sweden


Source of funding

EU Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call 7.1

Reference information


Published in Climate-ADAPT Aug 02 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Sep 10 2022

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