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

#09: December 05, 2022, 15h (CET)

Claire Baffert (WWF European Policy Office) & Eva Mayerhofer (European Investment Bank): The EU nature restoration law: an opportunity for scaling-up the restoration of freshwater ecosystems.

In this session you will hear about the proposed EU Nature Restoration Law and perspectives from a NGO on the opportunities offered by this forward-looking legislation to deliver large-scale restoration of freshwater ecosystems.


Claire Baffert, Senior Water Policy Advisor at WWF, is an EU policy specialist with a strong commitment for nature and environmental protection. Since 2019 she works for the European Policy Office of WWF, advocating for EU laws that safeguard our precious rivers, lakes and groundwaters.

Eva Mayerhofer is the Head of the Environment Policy Unit in the Sustainability and Quality Management Department and Lead Biodiversity Specialist of the European Investment Bank. She leads the EIB’s efforts to support EU and international biodiversity policies, develop business models and financing instruments to support nature positive investments and drive natural capital transformation. She has over 20 years of experience in environmental impact assessment, natural resource management and biodiversity conservation and has worked extensively across Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa with various development agencies and projects.

The webinar is open and free for anyone to join.


Previous webinars

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 Walyen (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 Pokrajae (WWF)