European Commission awards MERLIN with 21 million euros


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European Commission awards MERLIN with 21 million euros to find innovative restoration solutions for European fresh-water ecosystems 

Connectology (PT) to develop innovative financial instruments framework 

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: MERLIN, a consortium of 44 European partners which seeks new, widely applicable solutions for restoring the functions of freshwater ecosystems, such as to improve flood retention and store carbon dioxide, was awarded 21 million euros by the European Commission for this innovation action. Among the partners there are universities, research institutes, nature conservation organizations, private companies, and stakeholders from business, government, and municipalities. 

Ten million of the EU funding will go to 17 areas from Finland to Israel, where streams, rivers as well as bogs and wetlands are currently being restored to a near-natural state. These major projects will be expanded and upscaled with EU funding and developed into European-wide models. “One focus is on cooperation with industries that can benefit from restoration, for example agriculture, drinking water production and insurance companies. The effects of the measures will be accounted economically and ecologically”, explains Daniel Hering, Merlin project coordinator. 

“Many social groups benefit from restoration, and it requires the contribution of many actors”, says Dr. Sebastian Birk of the UDE Aquatic Ecology Working Group. 

The goal of Merlin is also to identify and create innovative funding solutions to help enhance ecological restoration of fresh-water ecosystems. Connectology is responsible for the development of off-the-shelf instruments to be used in restoration projects across Europe.

“There is an enormous investment potential in restoration projects. However, potential activities need to be presented and formatted in a language that investors understand. Connectology’s expertise and experience in dealing with investors will be crucial for the design of new financial instruments”, stated Ana Barjasic, Connectology CEO.

*MERLIN – Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: Innovation, upscaling and transformation /