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RESTORE - Restoring Europe's Rivers

Wetlands International encourages the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state to deliver increased environmental quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits.

In the partnership RESTORE we share knowledge to policymakers, river basin organisation and practitioners and promote best practice on river restoration in Europe.

Action Description:


River ecosystems are now among the most endangered landscapes in the world. The extinction rate of freshwater fauna has now been assessed as being five times that of terrestrial fauna. Over the past decades there has been a continued deterioration of and threat to valuable river habitats in the European Union (EU). The widespread decline in river habitats across Europe has resulted from river engineering activities and the alteration of rivers and their floodplains.



Aims and Activities

RESTORE is a partnership that brings together six partners in Europe that cooperate to encourage river restoration. RESTORE encourages the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state. This delivers increased ecological quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits.

Key knowledge sharing Resources

RESTORE encourages ecological river restoration in Europe through increased communication, dissemination and education in best-practice river restoration.

The website provides knowledge on ‘what is river restoration?’ and ‘why restore rivers?’ and features detailed ‘how to do’ river restoration pages, as well as key information organised around the following themes:

The Rivers by Design guide offers practical advice and step-by-step guidance on how to get started in incorporating river restoration and water management in development projects in order to maximise their ecological, social and economic benefits.

The River Wiki is an interactive system containing a database of over 300 river restoration projects. It allows users to build a knowledge base by adding their own case studies and sharing information and experiences.

View a video presentation exploring the benefits of natural river restoration. Features an overview of the RESTORE project and two case study presentations from Belgium.

Visit the RESTORE website.

Action Partners:

The European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR) supports RESTORE as a member of the Advisory Board.

RESTORE is funded by the LIFE funding stream from the European Commission. LIFE is the European Union's (EU) financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects.

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