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The Portuguese company Connectology, one of the members of the European consortium Merlin, will be responsible for developing the framework of financial instruments to be used in the projects.
The Merlin consortium, which brings together 44 European partners seeking new and effective solutions to restore the functions of freshwater ecosystems, such as improving flood retention and carbon dioxide storage, has just received 21 million euros from the European Commission to implement a wide range of projects.
Among the consortium partners are universities, research institutes, nature conservation organizations, private companies, business stakeholders, governments and municipalities.
Of the total amount of Community funding, 10 million euros are already destined for 17 different geographical areas, from Finland to Israel, where many rivers, streams and swamps are being restored to an almost natural state. These large projects will now be expanded with EU funding and developed on the basis of European models.
“One of the focuses is cooperation with industries and sectors that can benefit from the recovery of ecosystems, such as agriculture, the production of drinking water and insurance companies. The effects of the measures applied will be accounted for both economically and ecologically”, explains Daniel Hering, coordinator of the Merlin project.
“Many sectors of society will gain from the renewal of ecosystems, and this requires the contribution of many actors,” says Sebastian Birk, in his turn, from the UDE’s Aquatic Ecology Working Group.
The Merlin consortium’s goal is also to identify and create innovative financing solutions to help improve the ecological restoration of freshwater ecosystems. It is in this particular aspect that the involvement of the Portuguese company Connectology in the consortium assumes relevance. Specialized in the area of investments and entrepreneurship projects, Connectology is responsible for the development of financial instruments ready to be used in ecosystem renewal projects across Europe.
“There is enormous potential for investment in recovery projects. However, any initiatives need to be presented and formatted in a language that investors understand. Connectology’s expertise and experience in dealing with investors will be crucial for the design of new financial instruments”, says Ana Barjasic, CEO of Connectology.