Over one million barriers on Europe’s rivers have resulted in extensive loss of river connectivity and 70-90 % of Europe’s floodplain areas are ecologically degraded due to human modifications. Despite having an ambitious EU policy framework in place, implementation of fresh- and transitional water ecosystem restoration is lagging behind. Reasons for this lie among others in a lack of knowledge, awareness and participation of local people and business actors. The overall aim of DANUBE4all is the development of a comprehensive Restoration Action Plan for the Danube river basin lighthouse developed in an unprecedented co-creation process with stakeholders, integrating citizens’ interests, supporting the Mission “Restore our ocean and waters by 2030”. Based on solid scientific knowledge and new findings, the Action Plan will promote the improvement of ecological status, biodiversity and ecosystem connectivity. The development and implementation of innovative “Win-Win Nature Based Solutions” will simultaneously lead to an enhanced free-flowing status of rivers and floodplains, flood and drought risk reduction and enhancement of sediment and biota continuity. The aim is to adapt to climate change as well as to improve the endangered biodiversity of ecosystems. This will be reached by identifying, processing and upscaling effective and economically profitable restoration measures. DANUBE4all will implement innovative demonstration activities at three sites in the Upper, Middle Danube and the Danube Delta. DANUBE4all will link ecological and economic benefits providing tailored business cases for SMEs, and will deliver innovative tools to accelerate citizens’ and stakeholders’ engagement. DANUBE4all will provide GIS and Citizen Science tools for upscaling these restoration actions via ten Synergy Sites to the Danube Basin and will also transfer the outcomes to five Associated Regions by concrete steps towards the development of Replication Roadmaps for restoration action.
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