The MERLIN project
The Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation (MERLIN) project is a ‘research and innovation action’ funded under the European Commission’s H2020 programme that involves 44 partners from across Europe, including universities, research institutes, nature conservation organizations, and stakeholders from business, government, and municipalities. Specifically, the scientific and implementation partners in Belgium are Ghent University and the Province of Eastern Flanders, respectively.
The project commits to transformative ecosystem restoration, mainstreaming Nature-based Solutions for the urgent systemic change of our society. Due to the fact that Europe's environment is in an alarming state, with climate change expected to further aggravate the situation. This poses severe threats to economic prosperity, human well-being and social peace – our society needs systemic transformative change.
Ecosystem restoration is key to this change, and freshwaters play an important role: the restoration of streams, rivers, peatlands and wetlands has a long tradition and offers an extensive knowledge base – freshwaters are ideal demonstrators of the necessary change.
Within the MERLIN project, 17 flagship restoration projects across Europe will be implemented in which MERLIN explores social, economic and environmental success factors, generating a blueprint for the proficient implementation of Nature-based Solutions suited for immediate replication. One of these restoration projects will be implemented in the Upper Scheldt.
Further information of the project can be found in https://project-merlin.eu/ and project leaflet