Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded and threatened ecosystems at the global scale. Given the likelihood that demand for available water resources in Europe and worldwide will increase in the future, water ecosystem services need to be protected. A big legislative effort is being made at the European level in order to address biodiversity conservation policies and management of river basins and riverine habitats.
The JRC aims to provide the scientific basis for this integration of policies, with a focus on assessing and mapping ecosystem services, and developing modelling approaches to evaluate water ecosystem dynamics and simulate future scenarios on their evolving vulnerability.
JRC activities include ecological assessment of Europe's aquatic ecosystems, research and development of ecosystem modelling and scenario analyses, and studies on how ecosystems and biodiversity adapt to drivers of biodiversity loss.