The triple crises of biodiversity, pollution, and climate call for a more holistic type of river management, designed for a broader range of functions and restoring – in part – natural functioning of river ecosystems. Promoted by many (including e.g. the Green Deal), Nature based Solutions (NbS) are set to play a large part in this. However, implementation to date remains limited. To support scaling up freshwater ecosystem restoration and mainstreaming the use of NbS, new economic tools and narratives are required. These can also provide the basis for identifying innovative funding and financial models that can help bridge the restoration investment gap. This proposal aims to explore and demonstrate methods for a new economic narrative and financial models for river restoration as part of the H2020 MERLIN Project, focusing on cases in the Netherlands and Portugal.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.