Today the European Commission published the new Biodiversity Strategy 2030. We are very excited to see a target in the document, page 14, that at least 25,000 km of rivers will be restored into free-flowing rivers, through the removal of barriers and the restoration of floodplains. Although this is a very conservative estimate of the needs, we think it is a very good first step forward. The strategy also says: “Member States’ authorities should review water abstraction and impoundment permits to restore ecological flows. These measures should be planned in the 3rd River Basin Management Plans to be adopted by the Member States in 2021. Large scale river and floodplain restoration investments can provide a major economic boost for the recreation sector, and for local socio-economic activities such as tourism and recreation, while at At the same time, these investments can improve water regulation, flood protection, nursery habitats for fish, and the removal of nutrient pollution…etc.” We agree, as shown in our joint paper of the Dam Removal Europe partners. We look forward to supporting the Member States to take this forward.

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