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

#07: October 03, 2022
Luis Costa (MAVA Foundation):
Corporate and private funding – its value for conservation

This webinar presents and discusses the importance of private funding into conservation and restoration. From a personal perspective whilst a fundraiser and grantee, then a donor, Luís will describe some different types of private funding and some tips for fundraising, also the consequences of private funding on the organisations, either by contributing to its sustainability or causing financial dependency. Discussions will focus the importance of private funding into conservation in relation to other funding sources and conservation needs.

Website MAVA Foundation

Luis Costa

Luis is in charge of the freshwater, terrestrial and species aspects of MAVA’s Mediterranean Programme. A biologist by training, he joined MAVA in October 2016 with more than 25 years’ experience in conservation. Luis is a founding member of Portuguese Ornithological Society (SPEA) and formerly its Executive Director (2004-2016). He has also worked at the Nature Conservation Institute, overseeing its aquatic bird census and wetland conservation plan, and authoring MedWet’s standard methodology for inventories.

The webinar is open and free for anyone to join.


Previous webinars

Webinar #06

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

Webinar #05

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



Webinar #04

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


Webinar #03

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


Webinar #02

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

Webinar #01

Why freshwater ecosystem restoration makes (economic) sense