MERLIN Academy

Here we will build up the MERLIN Academy on freshwater ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions including topics like innovative restoration techniques, fundraising, restoration governance and monitoring.

The MERLIN Academy will be an online learning place that can be accessed by its registered users any time and that allows interactive learning options and keep track of the learning progress while its completion. It will be open to any interested person and will be organised in three different curricula addressing

  • administration and managers
  • restoration practitioners
  • the scientific community with focus on students

Technically, the courses of the MERLIN Academy will include live webinars, online training workshops, recorded e-learning sessions (webinars or presentations) accessible for users at any time. Content-wise this will include for example the presentation of best practice restoration projects, technical guidance, the development of regional scalability plans, large-scale upscaling strategies, Cost-Benefit-Analysis, interactive maps on benefits of restoration measures, community and sector involvement as well as institutional arrangement strategies.

Additionally, the MERLIN Academy will host a knowledge centre that will include short videos and animations, manuals and state-of-the-art guidance documents related to for example spatial configuration of restoration measures within a catchment, benefits of different restoration types on ecosystem services and biodiversity, design standards for certain nature-based solution restoration methods, synergies of nature-based solutions/restoration with various sectors, a governance framework for successful restoration as well as financing strategies for restoration on different spatial scales or sector-specific strategies for restoration synergies. The knowledge centre will be complimented by a glossary of terms and a library of recommended scientific reading (a glossary of freshwater terms is already available on the Freshwater Information Platform).

Next webinar

#12: April 03, 2023, 15h (CET)

Tom Buijse (Deltares): Upscaling freshwater ecosystem restoration: the MERLIN approach part 1

Tom Buijse (Deltares, the Netherlands) is a specialist in fish-based assessment and ecological restoration of inland waters. His research focuses on the hydromorphological rehabilitation of rivers and tuning ecosystem restoration with other socio-economic demands such as fisheries management, flood protection and navigation. He applies his expertise to support the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands. Since April 2020 he has been appointed as special professor freshwater fish ecology at Wageningen University 1 d/wk to optimize fish resources and species diversity in inland waters.

World-wide efforts are taken to restore ecosystems, but this is considered to go at a much too slow pace. The H2020 Green Deal call to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services requested for research and innovation projects to accelerate and upscale freshwater ecosystem restoration. Within the MERLIN project 17 case studies covering peatlands, wetlands, small stream and large rivers assess their current restoration practices to develop a strategy involving more stakeholders and serving a wider spectrum of objectives addressing the UN SDGs and the EU Green Deal ambitions for a climate-neutral economy. The approach how will be presented.

The webinar is open and free for anyone to join.


Previous webinars

Practical applications of Nature-based Solutions in river restoration and management

Hamish Moir (cbec)

Nature Impact Tokens as a means unlock "nature positive" investment

Paul Jepson – (creditnature Ltd)

The EU nature restoration law: an opportunity for scaling-up the restoration of freshwater ecosystems.

Claire Baffert (WWF European Policy Office) & Eva Mayerhofer (European Investment Bank)

Strategic Monitoring to Learn from Nature-Based Solutions and Natural Infrastructure Projects

Dr. Charles B. van Rees (University of Georgia)

Corporate and private funding - its value for conserveration

Louis Costa (MAVA Foundation)

Freeing rivers – restoration strategies in the state of Maine & implications for expanding the movement in Europe

Joshua L. Royte (The Nature Conservancy)

Monitoring and Evaluation of Nature-Based Solutions – thinking outside the box!

Kerry Waylen (James Hutton Institute)

Rewilding rivers in the Odra catchment – What is rewilding and why is it important?

Peter Torkel (Rewilding Oder Delta - Team Leader Poland)

Wetland restoration – Holy Grail or opening Pandora’s box of vector-borne and zoonotic disease risk?

Frauke Ecke (SLU)

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Insights from IPBES and IPCC Intergovernmental Processes

Josef Settele (UFZ)

Why freshwater ecosystem restoration makes (economic) sense

Sien Kok (Deltares) & Sanja Prokrajac (WWF)