Joining forcesMarch 2, 2023
Water management in the Mediterranean with OurMEDDecember 20, 2023
Assessing the capacity of European coastal wetlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change
Wetlands mitigate climate change if managed properly
Coastal wetlands provide a wide array of invaluable ecosystem services, including water storage, water purification, buffering against floods, storms and droughts, shoreline stabilization and biodiversity pools. They also play a central role in climate change mitigation, and depending on their ecological status and biogeochemical features, they may either capture or release significant amounts of greenhouse gases.
At the same time, wetlands are one of the fastest declining ecosystem types in the world, pressured by urbanization and intensified agricultural and industrial activities. There is a great need for more information about the current status of wetlands and how to restore and manage them in the best possible way.
Joint research to restore and manage European coastal wetlands
The multi-stakeholder EU-funded research project RESTORE4Cs addresses management and restoration actions to maintain and promote the mitigation and adaptation capacity of European coastal wetlands to climate change. The project seeks to assess the current status of European coastal wetlands including their carbon pathways and uptake of greenhouse gases (1), the management and restoration actions that best promote this uptake (2), and how to best support stakeholders to implement these actions (3), considering co-benefits across different ecosystem services (4).
As part of the project, models and assessment tools will be developed and tested in six coastal wetland pilots across Europe, representing different biogeographical regions, preservation statuses and restoration measures already in place. Based on the findings from the pilots and by applying remote sensing-based products and machine learning methods, the models and assessment tools will be up-scaled for use in the wider European region.
Key deliverables include data, methodologies and interactive tools to assess the status of European coastal wetlands and to identify the restoration and management actions that achieve the greatest gains in carbon uptake, biodiversity and other ecosystem services at different places and scales.
Remote sensing to identify the most effective restoration measures
Remote sensing-based products are effective to close spatial and temporal data gaps. RSS is working closely with other project partners to develop information layers and indicators that can help assess the capacity of European coastal wetlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
For example, information about changes in lake area and seasonally flooded land can help assess the impacts of restoration actions as well as the carbon uptake of wetland soils (dependent on its wetness). Information about the intensity of agricultural activities within the wetland can help identify target areas for restoration measures including protection.
Project key facts
The project runs from 2023 to 2025, is funded by the European Union through the Horizon 2.5.1 programme and implemented by 15 partners from 9 EU countries.
Learn more about the project here: https://www.restore4cs.eu/