A publication by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with the participation of researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) sheds light on the role of “Riverine and Coastal Wetlands in Europe for Biodiversity and Climate”. Among other things, the publication serves as background information and knowledge base for the 5th European Conference on Biodiversity and Climate Change, which will take place in Bonn in September.

Riverine floodplains and coastal wetlands are vital ecosystems for nature and people: they make indispensable contributions to human well-being, biodiversity conservation and natural climate protection. They are also considered biodiversity hotspots and provide multiple ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, flood protection, water filtration, food supply, local recreation and nature tourism.

Among the fundamental challenges identified by the publication are competing land use interests, poor implementation and enforcement of legislation, and significant funding gaps. Positive options for action are highlighted as the introduction of the new EU Nature Restoration Regulation, the use of new land management tools, innovative technologies for planning and control, and better involvement of all stakeholders through social and organisational tools.