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MERLIN Newsletter Aug 2023

#01. MERLIN Innovation Awards

The MERLIN Innovation Awards (MIA) were launched by the European Union’s flagship project MERLIN. The MIA recognise new and widely applicable solutions for restoring the functions of freshwater ecosystems or enabling their financial benefit.
Entries from organisations across the world were assessed by an expert panel, and the best innovative solutions have been selected in two categories: the MIA Product of the year and the MIA Service of the year. The winners in 2023 are ecocean "Product of the year" and Plastic Fischer "Service of the year".

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#02. Field visit from the peatland-wetland cluster

The process of peatland and wetland restoration takes time and effort both in the biophysical and social domain. Within MERLIN we work on upscaling restoration efforts for these valuable ecosystems. Therefore a field visit was organized in April 2023 to three locations near Edinburgh, Scotland where peatland restoration is being carried out and monitored in detailed manner.

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#03. Synthesis of the Interim Regional Scalability Plans

A central aspect of MERLIN is to ensure long-term implementation and improvement of freshwaters and wetlands. In that regard, long-term planning and visioning of how restoration can be scaled up at a larger, regional scale, is of paramount importance. This requires a holistic thinking of societal, environmental, and economic aspects, varying from sustainable financial mechanisms to climate change modelling, ambitious visions for the future, and bringing together different actors and stakeholders across governance levels.

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#04. Tisza field visit

WWF Hungary organized a field visit at the Tisza river between May 30 and June 2, 2023 as part of the MERLIN project. A total of 32 professionals from 17 institutions in 9 countries participated in the event. The Hungarian meeting took place because Hungary’s two large rivers, the Danube and the Tisza, are also involved in the nature conservation project.
During the event, beside the workshop, the participants visited one of the last unregulated floodplains in the country, the Bodrogzug...

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#05. Integrating nature-positive solutions into our economy

The MERLIN project aims to mainstream transformative ecosystem restoration and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) across all of Europe’s freshwater environments.

MERLIN aspires to go beyond mainstreaming business as usual to mainstreaming a transformation in our relationship with the freshwater environment as a response to the biodiversity and climate crises. In particular, we focus on transformative changes within six economic sectors...

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#06. Case study implementation plans

The implementation of restoration measures is central to MERLIN. Roughly 10 million € of the MERLIN budget is allocated for restoration activities, which will be implemented during the lifetime of MERLIN (2022-2025) in seventeen case studies. The implementation cases are grouped into small streams, large rivers as well as wetlands and peatlands. The types of restoration measures comprise re-wetting, channel and riparian restoration, reconnection of floodplains, removal of dams, creation of flowering strips and meadows alongside streams..

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#07. MERLIN Podcast

This podcast follows the MERLIN project in its journey of investing millions of Euros to help mainstream freshwater restoration across the continent over the coming years. It offers a behind the scenes look at some of the continent’s most ambitious freshwater restoration projects carried out through cutting-edge aquatic science and conservation.

We have 3 episodes so far (1st, 2nd and 3rd). Stay tuned for the next ones!

Listen to our podcasts on Apple podcasts, or Spotify


MERLIN Infographics

This inphographic shows how nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore ecosystems. In European rivers they are addressing societal challenges effectively and adaptively, benefiting people; and enhancing ecoysystem functions, benefiting nature. It is available in different languages.

Download HighRes pdf