RESTORE4Cs will participate in the Wetlands Conference 2024

RESTORE4Cs – the project participated by LifeWatch ERIC on modelling wetland restoration – will be present at the International Conference Conservation and Management of Wetlands to Tackle Climate Change from 14 to 16 February in Valencia, Spain.

The event is organised by Fundación Global Nature together with the University of Valencia, the Generalitat Valenciana and the City Council of Valencia. The aim is to share the latest scientific and technical advances on wetlands and climate change and their crucial role. The discussions will mainly centre around governance frameworks, opportunities for creating green jobs, and the pressing need for conservation efforts.

The conference on conservation and management of wetlands will bring together researchers, policymakers, representatives from international organisations, and other stakeholders. The goal is to facilitate international networking and serve as a platform for sharing scientific and technical advancements. Practitioners and managers will be equipped with the necessary tools for the sustainable management of wetlands. Also, this will enable them to make strategic decisions in the face of global change. This year’s focus is on the Mediterranean, which has depleted over 50% of its natural wetlands since 1970.

LifeWatch ERIC – who oversees the project’s communication and dissemination – will attend the conference in collaboration with MedWet. Other RESTORE4Cs partners, including the University of Aveiro, the University of Barcelona, the European Topic Centre at the University of MalagaWasserCluster Lunz & the University of Vienna, and Tour du Valat, will also attend the conference as members of the scientific committee.

For those unable to attend in person, the conference will be available via streaming. For more information, please visit the official website

World Wetlands Day: How our wellbeing relies on restoring wetlands

world wetlands day

Today, 2 February 2024, is the 27th World Wetlands Day. As The World Health Organization said, our well-being depends on the stability of our climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development. Wetlands play a significant role in connecting all three factors.

For instance, just an acre of wetlands can hold up to 1.5 million gallons of floodwater, protecting coastal areas against natural disasters. Peatlands have the potential to store twice as much carbon as the global forest biomass. Wetlands also provide food for up to 4.5 billion people annually through the fish and rice paddies harvested from them.

On this day, we would like to draw attention to an article created as part of the RESTORE4Cs project, in which LifeWatch ERIC participate. The project aims to model wetland restoration for carbon pathways, climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystem services, and biodiversity co-benefits.

“For centuries people have found solace in remote wetlands, but there is now evidence that spending time in places like these actually helps boost mental health. This is particularly essential for the dark winter months in northern latitude”,

Mark Reed, Professor of Rural Entrepreneurship at Scotland’s Rural College

Despite this history, we are now losing these ecosystems alarmingly. The 2018 Global Wetland Outlook from the Ramsar Convention revealed that one third of the wetlands have been lost globally since 1970, mainly to urbanization and agriculture. A key theme of World Wetlands Day 2024 is the need to act now, and Europe’s researchers believe we already have solutions to turn things around.

“I think global treaties and recent EU laws mean we’re in the right decade to restore these ecosystems”

Dania Abdul Malak, Director of European Topic Centre for Spatial Analysis and Synthesis at the University of Malaga

Nowadays there are policies that can really help reestablish their function, and make sure they can also provide ecosystem services. Restoring wetland ecosystems will become critical for a more sustainable climate, biodiversity and human wellbeing by 2030.

Matuesz Grygoruk, Professor at Warsaw University of Life Sciences’ (SGGW) Department of Hydrology, Meteorology and Water Management

Mateusz suggested prioritising wetland restoration as a central focus in determining environmental management actions. He argued that these efforts are crucial in restoring the functions of wetlands, which are irreplaceable through any other management measures.

Restoring wetlands can have significant benefits, such as improving their biodiversity, water storage capacity, and ability to sequester carbon in soil. WET HORIZONS, a sister project of RESTORE4Cs, aims to enhance wetlands restoration and support European wetland policy.

To learn more about RESTORE4Cs and their commitment to World Wetlands Day, visit this project page.

Addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation towards a sustainable management of European wetlands


RESTORE4Cs, a freshly started project led by the University of Aveiro, will address management and restoration actions to maintain and promote the mitigation and adaptation capacity of European wetlands to climate change, while focusing on coastal wetlands and providing innovative tools and methodologies for decision making and restoration planning and actions.

What is the potential of wetlands? How can multiple challenges such as climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, disaster risk reduction and other threats to ecosystem services be tackled to foster mutually reinforcing actions and enhance co-benefits from wetland restoration?

All major European Union (EU) policies recognise the key role of wetlands to achieve the EU objectives regarding climate neutrality, biodiversity protection, zero-pollution, flood protection, and circular economy. Therefore, assessing the current extent and state of European wetlands, their current and potential greenhouse gases (GHG) profile and their medium to long-term mitigation capacity through restoration, or other measures, are key priorities of the European Union to tackle climate change. Led by the University of Aveiro, the recently awarded Horizon project RESTORE4Cs (Modelling RESTORation of wEtlands for Carbon pathways, Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystem services, and biodiversity, Co-benefits) will assess the role of restoration action on wetlands capacity in terms of climate change mitigation and a wide range of ecosystem services using an integrative socio-ecological systems approach. 

The kick-off meeting, held in Aveiro from 16 to 19 January, has officially marked the start of the project consortium’s activities, gathering representatives of 15 partners from 9 European countries, including universities, research institutes and infrastructures, small and medium enterprises, intergovernmental organisations and NGOs, bringing together a well-structured and multi-disciplinary team, holding all the essential expertise to be at the forefront of the research/policy interface. The meeting agenda covers all aspects of the project implementation, spanning from administrative issues, overview of the state of the art, coordination, communication and organisation of the work. Case pilot sites have been presented by the related local teams and a first visit in the field has been organised in the area pertaining to Ria de Aveiro.

Focusing on coastal wetlands across Europe, RESTORE4Cs will deliver standardised methodologies and approaches for the prioritisation of restoration, promoting carbon-storage and GHG emissions abatement, while improving the ecological status and the provision of additional ecosystem services, such as flood regulation and coastal erosion protection. More in detail, the project will provide online, user-friendly and integrated tools as unique entry points for wetland practitioners and decision makers regarding the prioritisation of conservation and restoration actions, in relation with their GHG performance as well as impacts on biodiversity and a wide range of ecosystem services while addressing in parallel three spatial scales (local, national, regional/pan-European) combined with the three targeted habitats (wetlands, floodplans and peatlands).

See the full press release, with more information on the project breakdown and consortium members, here.