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

#18: Dec 04, 2023, 15h (CET)

Chris Spray (University of Dundee): "The Eddleston Water project – what has worked, and what have we learned about Natural Flood management and how to deliver it?"

Chris is currently Tweed Forum’s Eddleston Water Science Manager. He was formerly Director of Environmental Science for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and is Emeritus Professor of water science and policy at the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, where his research and teaching focusses on freshwater ecosystems, river restoration and science into policy. A founding member of the UK River Restoration Centre and a past chair of the Freshwater Biological Association, Chris currently holds two Ministerial appointments on the Board of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, and on Environmental Standards Scotland.

The presentation will cover the challenges and results from the Eddleston Water project. Begun with a scoping study in 2010, this is Scottish Government’s long-running empirical study of the effectiveness of using natural flood management (NFM) measures at a landscape scale to reduce flood risk and enhance riparian ecology. In addition to detailed hydrological and ecological monitoring, emerging information on environmental economics and the cost/benefits of utilising an NFM approach will be discussed.

The webinars are open and free for anyone to join.


Previous webinars

Investing in nature-based solutions? – Finance for nature in Europe

Stephen Hart (Eurpean Investment Bank)

Transforming Freshwater Restoration through Nature-based Solutions - Working with Six Economic Sectors

Kirsty Blackstock (James Hutton Institute)

Give me five peatland restoration strategies

Dominik Henrik Zak (Institute of Ecoscience, Aarhus University)

State of European freshwaters - Restoration needs and potentials

Paulo Branco (Forest Research Centre)

HORA 3D risk assessment tool

Thomas Hlatky (GRAWE)

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

Tom Buijse (Deltares)

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 conservation

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)