Protecting Europe’s lakes against climate change

Climate change and the effects of human activity are threatening Europe’s lakes. To mitigate the damage, the EULAKES project brings together scientist and decision makers to collaborate on possible solutions.

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From Lake Balaton in Hungary to Garda in Italy, the EULAKES’ research requires an evaluation of a lake’s overall health. From Lake Balaton in Hungary to Garda in Italy, the EULAKES’ research requires an evaluation of a lake’s overall health.

" Thanks to the EULAKES project, climate change challenges are now one of the most important issues for the community living along the lakes, and local communities are now considering very seriously the actions they have to take. "

Giorgio Passionelli, Mayor of Torri del Benaco, Lake Garda, Italy

To ensure the people managing Europe’s lakes are well-informed and prepared to face future challenges, the EULAKES project incorporates scientific expertise into its effort to develop the best strategies for the mitigation of – and adaption to – climate change, pollution and the need for sustainable management of shorelines.

This unique collaboration between scientist and public authorities is meant to produce a joint transnational strategy for basin-wide lake management that addresses environmental, economic and socio-cultural concerns. The objective is for the strategy to be encoded within an international agreement that establishes guidelines for a joint initiative and planning process. 

Research and action at the lakes

From Lake Balaton in Hungary to Garda in Italy, the project’s research provides an evaluation of the lakes’ health. The research includes a study of existing monitoring systems and, where needed, a proposal for developing new monitoring systems. The research paid specific attention to improving knowledge about the environmental weaknesses of the lakes and the risks connected to these weaknesses. There was also a unique focus on enhancing the role of local governance of the lakes so communities could become involved in the transnational approach.

A case in point

As an example of the work conducted by EULAKES, at Austria’s Lake Neusidel researchers conducted a study investigating the grazing management and agricultural practices needed to control nutrients in the lake’s waters. As a result of this work, a land-use plan was drafted that reviewed utilisation of surrounding lands, resulting in the creation a buffer zone between the shore and nearby agricultural areas.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “EULAKES – European Lakes Under Environmental Stressors” is EUR 2 810 778, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 208 771 from the Operational Programme “Central Europe” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.


Draft date

10/12/2014