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EMERGE on focus

Project of the European Commission Framework Programme V: Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Sub-Programme Environment and Sustainable Development

In EMERGE we are building upon previous studies at individual sites to identify distributions of disturbance and pollution; distribution patterns of aquatic organisms and fish status; and lake ecological reference states for for the European mountain lake population as a whole (>20,000 lakes). We are combining regionalisation techniques with empirical and process-based modelling of the main ecological features of the lakes, based on existing large datasets and specific site-based studies and are undertaking detailed and innovative socio-economic analyses to ascertain the values that Society places on these ecosystems and the costs and benefits inherent in their protection and remediation. We plan to deliver an integrated GIS/database system linked to the WWW for presentation and dissemination of a quantitative assessment of lake ecological status and the methodologies for biological assessments, together with an environmental and socio-economic evaluation of present and foreseen threats to mountain lakes. The project is designed to meet the specific requirements of the European Water Framework Directive and will contribute to other EU and UNECE policies on transboundary air pollution.


  • to assess the status of remote mountain lake ecosystems throughout Europe following the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive;

  • to provide an evaluation of our findings in ecological, environmental and socio-economic terms;

  • to provide decision makers with an overall understanding of remote mountain lakes so that appropriate policy and management measures can be taken at both European and national scales to ensure the sustainability of these ecosystems into the future.

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