EU Green Deal Call 7.1 Cluster
WaterLANDS is one of four projects which have been funded under H2020 Green Deal Call 7.1 Restoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The four projects will collaborate and undertake coordinated activities to maximise their combined reach and positive impact. All four projects are directed at the upscaling of restoration and have an emphasis, but varying focus, on stakeholder engagement, governance and finance. The three other projects in the cluster are MERLIN, REST-COAST and SUPERB.
The Cluster project coordinators meet on a regular basis. The Cluster can now be identified by a common logo and has a joint strategy for communication and dissemination which is also supported by the EU Green Deal Support Office which provides for interaction with a wide range of EU-funded projects supporting the European Green Deal in areas such as sustainability and climate change. Technical collaboration within the Cluster is on-going in relation to common restoration indicators, guidance and restoration finance. At ground level, there are interactions between wetlands, rivers, forests and coasts, for example via water movement and quality. This makes collaboration desirable from the perspective of a landscape approach to restoration, governance and restoration finance. Some of the Cluster projects also share restoration case studies, for example WaterLANDS and REST-COAST share common restoration action sites in the Ems-Dollard Estuary in the Netherlands and at the Venice Lagoon where a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between the two projects. WaterLANDS and MERLIN also have a connection via sites along the River Danube and at the Kampinos National Park in Poland.
The Cluster Projects are together providing scientific support for the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law, the headline objective of which is to restore 20% of Europe’s degraded ecosystems by 2030. The NRL is currently being debated and negotiated between the European Parliament and the European Council. In the first instance, the Cluster is collaborating with a review of the draft and its likely effectiveness in achieving its target ambitions. A joint paper is being prepared which will assess the NRL against the background of existing nature protection as this relates to the Habitats Directive, the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Common Agricultural Policy and other EU policies relevant to wetlands, rivers, coats and forests.