Ecological restoration of freshwater ecosystems

The MERLIN project commits to transformative ecosystem restoration, mainstreaming Nature-based Solutions for the urgent systemic change of our society.

For 17 flagship restoration projects across Europe, MERLIN explores social, economic and environmental success factors, generating a blueprint for the proficient implementation of Nature-based Solutions suited for immediate replication. With investing more than 10 million € in further hands-on upscaling measures, MERLIN upgrades these 17 projects into radiant beacons of innovation for the systemic change.


MERLIN identifies landscapes with high potential and priority for transformative restoration, particularly focusing on essential ecosystem services, biodiversity targets, and climate change mitigation and adaption. MERLIN illustrates environmental value chains as well as costs and benefits of Nature-based Solutions for selected European regions. This economic analysis demonstrates the opportunities for green business resulting from transformative restoration.

MERLIN delineates models for private investment into restoration alongside public funding, tailored to contexts specific for economic sectors and countries. MERLIN’s initiatives maximize synergies across economic sectors, and transparently mediate trade-offs where necessary.

In MERLIN, we support hydrological modeling, environmental  costs and benefits analysis and the development of financing solutions for the upscaling of freshwater-related ecosystems restoration.

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