European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE) is an international institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, working since 2006 under the auspices of UNESCO and belonging to the UNESCO Water Centres. On a basis of a long-term agreement with the University of Lodz, ERCE forms a twin institute with the Department of Applied Ecology (DEA UL). ERCE specialises in trans-disciplinary research projects focused on developing system solutions for integrated water resource management and environmental landscape planning, which covers three pillars: i) transdysciplinary science: ecohydrology, hydrobiology, freshwater ecology, environmental chemistry and ecotoxycology, phytotechnology, remote sensing and modelling of ecosystem and landscape processes; ii) science implementation: recommendations for ecohydrological design of water infrastructure (reservoirs constructions, rivers rehabilitation, green public space), implementation of nature-based solutions for resilience of urban and rural systems, and demonstration projects (UNESCO, ILTER, SWITCH); iii) education and capacity building: facilitation of stakeholder process including communication, networking, visioning, scenario building, strategic planning; education at all levels.
ERCE can contribute to the project with the expertise on:
1) methods for monitoring of key variables and parameters within the different compartments of ecosystems with a special focus on freshwaters, ecohydrological processes, and ESS flow;
2) 2 LTSER regions (The Pilica River LTSER and the City of Lodz LTSER) of mixed rural and urban character, connected through the flow of ES, with an extended data on socio-economic and ecological factors, spatial planning, and ESS provision and demand;
3) research and implementations related to water sensitive urban design, integrated resource management focused on harmonizing blue, green and grey infrastructure, integrated revitalization of the city and developing capacities for social inclusion;
4) multistakeholder platforms – based risk perception and management, identification of research needs with the focus on science for technology, spatial planning, infrastructure development (maintaining ecosystem processes across scales), and development of relevant administrative and legal tools,
5) demonstration projects and experimentation sites in ecohydrology and biotechnology linked to the network of UNESCO demonstration projects, and
6) training and regular courses related to nature-based solutions for environmental risk management, dissemination of project products, knowledge, networking, etc.