New Dam Removal strategy supports action for freshwater ecosystems

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With their new 10 year strategy, the Dam Removal Europe partners stand ready to support European countries to take action for accelerating restoration of freshwater ecosystems.

40% of EU coastal waters, lakes, rivers and wetlands are healthy, while 60% are currently unhealthy. An estimated 1 million obstacles – dams, weirs, culverts – disturb the free movement of water, sediments, animals and plants. At the same time, roughly 100,000 barriers are abandoned or obsolete. Dam Removal Europe recognizes this huge potential for restoration of the free flow of rivers and the species that depend on it.

In their new strategy for 2020-2030, the Dam Removal Europe partners identify five types of activities to catalyze dam removal projects in the future:

  1. Prioritise river basins and dam removals that maximize ecological and social impact.
  2. Kickstart dam removal projects on the ground to provide a clear picture of the benefits.
  3. Engage in targeted communications to reach key decision-makers and stakeholders.
  4. Improve policy design and implementation by including dam removal as a viable river restoration measure and mobilizing funds for projects.
  5. Provide scalable models of dam removal that serve ecological and socioeconomic goals.

Dam Removal Europe invites partners, stakeholders and decision makers to jointly engage in these activities. As one of the Dam Removal Europe partners, Wetlands International will direct its efforts particularly to working with the European Commission to improve the implementation of EU water and nature legislation and ensure Member States adopt ambitious River Basin Management Plans in 2021, including dam removal measures.

More information: Dam Removal Europe

Header image: Una river © Cy Griffin