Free-flowing rivers: Commission advises how to select sites and finance removal of obsolete barriers


The European Commission has recently released the ‘Biodiversity Strategy 2030 – Barrier Removal for River Restoration’ to assist Member States in identifying and prioritising barriers that could be removed to help achieve the Biodiversity Strategy’s goal of restoring 25 000 km of rivers to be free-flowing, and in identifying possible funding sources. The Strategy proposes two main types of action to achieve that goal: removal of barriers and the restoration of floodplains and wetlands.

Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Virginijus Sinkevičius, said “Rivers in Europe are heavily fragmented. Removing barriers to restore their natural flow and connectivity will help freshwater ecosystems thrive and facilitate the migration of endangered species, such as the sturgeon and the European eel. Investing in healthy rivers will also bring many benefits related to ecosystem services, such as flood protection, water purification and recreational opportunities. We can now provide practical support to Member States on how to do it and on how to finance such actions.”


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