WahV is the main Italian partner for WaterLANDS, one of the first projects to be funded by the European New Green Deal, which also includes the participation of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Under the Horizon 2020 programme, this five-year project will be fully funded by the European Commission with a budget of over €23 million, coordinated by University College Dublin. The purpose is to demonstrate and promote scalable solutions to wetland regeneration across different and wider geographical areas, starting with the six European sites that have been selected, including the Venice Lagoon.
The Venice lagoon is the largest coastal wetland in Italy and the integrity of the ecosystem is at risk due to the dramatic loss of salt marshes, ongoing erosion, and the limited addition of new sediments. These phenomena are exacerbated by urbanisation and erosion due to navigation, local water traffic, and the dredging of canals.
We are here Venice will deal with aspects related to the ecological part of the scientific research, designing and managing salt marsh regeneration of the action site and community engagement including an overview of stakeholders and sources of excellence. The Department of Economics of Ca’ Foscari will work on analysing aspects such as intangible value, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness.
“These issues are inseparable from WahV’s mission,” says Jane da Mosto, who will represent WahV as lead partner, “We have an excellent knowledge base of the territory and we will be able to continue this work even once the European project has ended”.
The project will start in December 2021. It will bring together 32 organisations from research, industry, institutions and non-profit sectors in 13 European countries and the United Kingdom.
“Previous attempts at wetland restoration have often been too localised or too fragmented to make a significant difference to the re-establishment of wetland ecosystems and species,” says Craig Bullock, project coordinator and researcher at University College Dublin. “In WaterLANDS, we aim to co-create a more effective means of restoration which captures ecological, social, governance and financial aspects, to connect habitats and communities across Europe, ensuring both thrive for many generations to come.”