Why is Nature Restoration Critical for River Connectivity?

The EU Commission published its proposal for a new Nature Restoration Regulation in June 2022. In this context, IEEP and Ecologic Institute – as part of the Think Sustainable Europe network – published a series of thematic policy briefs to inform Members of the European Parliament and other policy makers about a variety of topics relating to nature restoration. This policy brief highlights the importance of a high degree of river connectivity for healthy and biodiverse water bodies that can provide key ecosystem services such as water supply for different human uses and resilience to climate change impacts. The policy brief presents evidence and data on the decline of river connectivity due to human interventions, in particular river barriers and floodplain degradation, and the benefits offered by measures to restore free-flowing rivers.