Category Archives: Working Together

European Living Lakes Association (ELLA)

It was in 1998 that Global Nature Fund (GNF), (an environmental NGO based in Germany) founded the Living Lakes Network to promote the protection and restoration of lakes worldwide. Since then the family of organisations has grown to some 112 lakes across five continents and has some 130 organisations sharing experience and expertise in the common quest to protect these sensitive environments.

A common thread is the relatively low profile lakes have worldwide in view on their protection, but the very significant contribution they have to the overall environmental wellbeing. Not surprisingly, the situation in Europe with the high population density the situation with many lakes is severe; many failing to achieve ‘good status’. Through the EU Green Deal, the European member states are committed to restore damaged ecosystems and improve their ecological status, an objective that closely aligns with that of the Living Lakes Network. Progress has perhaps been slow because of the lack of alliances between government level down through various civic structures to effect action on the ground.

The EU “LIFE” sponsored project (LIFE 2020 NGO 4GD) seeks to overcome this shortcoming through the creation of a registered membership Association, the European Living Lakes Network “ELLA”. As such it will seek to engage with all stakeholders in lake regions, from local and regional authorities, through businesses, to civic society organisations and scientific institutions. ELLA, the new European-centred association for the protection of lakes and wetlands aims at actively promoting, advancing and advocating nature conservation, landscape management, climate change mitigation, and coastal and inland flood protection at a European level. In this context, rural development, sustainable agriculture and protection of biodiversity are central.

Partners within the ELLA family will hold series of climate and biodiversity related events and projects. They will bring together, experts, scientists, decision makers as well as national and regional government representatives through workshops, seminars and conference in order to establish a dynamic dialogue and knowledge transfer.

Project measures of EU ELLA:

  • Founding of a legally constituted European Living lakes Association (ELLA);
  • Capacity Building for stakeholders involvement in management of lake regions;
  • Europe-wide capacity building events, e.g. workshops and international conferences and webinars;
  • Motivation and support within the private sector on lake regions to integrate appropriate measures into their corporate management.

Global Nature Fund as the administers of the newly formed Association are keen that the UK and Ireland is actively involved and further sees the UK and Ireland lakes Network as the ideal communication vehicle to their future members to ELLA from within the UK and Ireland.

UKILN congratulates GNF for this initiative and looks forward to developing those links with fellow European ‘lake protectors’.

Considering a Membership?

Need more information on events and activities of ELLA?


ELLA e.V. – European Living Lakes Association
c/o Global Nature Fund (GNF) – International Foundation for Environment and Nature 

Dr. Thomas Schaefer, Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4, 78315 Radolfzell, Germany.

Tel.: +49 7732 9995 84, Fax: +49 7732 9995 88



Blue Lakes: “No micro-plastics, just waves”

The idea of a Blue lakes project was instigated by the NGO Legambiente in Italy. Other Italian NGOs followed along with two German groups, including Global Nature Fund.

The Project was subsequently funded through LIFE and the Plastics Europe. Their aim has been to reduce and perhaps even avoid entirely micro-plastics pollution in lakes. Taking an integrated approach, the facets of the project included:

  • Working with Municipalities in order to reduce plastic usage and waste;
  • Working with companies who could i.e. use alternative materials;
  • Promoting additional treatments stages in waste water treatment plants to remove micro-plastics; and to
  • Raise awareness amongst citizens and those responsible for the use of plastic products.

The five pilot lake catchments in Germany and Italy in the framework of the project are Lake Constance and Chiemsee in Germany and lakes Trasimeno, Garda and Bracciano in Italy.

The project has not only supported the local authorities in those areas with tools and information for them to effect appropriate policies and actions,  but have also developed a Lakes Charter seeking voluntary commitments to adopt methods to reduce and avoid micro-plastic release to lakes and heir watersheds.

Further, there has been a technical protocol developed for managers and technical advisers on the improvement measures that can be implemented at waste water treatment plants. At the project management level, all the partners have developed working relationships with the key relevant industries: principally, tyre, cosmetic and outdoor industry, with a view to identifying further measures that can be taken. At the political level, influence is being levied to improve the legal framework and public awareness significantly elevated.

Bespoke designed trawl nets take surface water samples for micro-plastic sampling and identification of lake surface waters. Lago Bracciano.

LIFE: The European Union’s LIFE programme supported Blue Lakes and contributes to the implementation, updating and further development of the EU policy and legislation on the environment and climate. Through the LIFE programme, the EU co-funds innovative projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of new techniques and methods in the environmental field.

Follow the project at and contact at


Living Lakes Partners invited to seminar on sediment use

lake in hungary

The Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency is organizing an online event on May 6 2021 entitled ‘What shall we do with the dredged sediment? International experiences and good practices for the disposal and utilisation of sludge at large shallow lakes’.

In shallow lakes, sediments play an extremely important role in the nutrient cycling. As a result of high external loads of nutrients in the past, sediments became storages of such substances. Removal of the most active, most polluted surface sediment layer (10-30 cm) by thin layer dredging is a common technique in water quality/eutrophication control. In addition to overall water quality improvement of a shallow lake, dredging may contribute to providing better quality and utility value for beaches and small-boat harbours.

In the previous seminar, we reviewed the scientific background of sediment dredging in shallow lakes, and the experiences at Lake Balaton and good dredging practices from abroad. This time, we would like to focus on the disposal and utilisation of removed sediment. In the seminar, firstly we will briefly introduce the current situation at Lake Balaton and, as an international outlook, the current situation at Laguna de Bay in the Philippines.

Then we will review the concerns and questions about the disposal of sediment, and introduce some alternative solutions and technologies available for the utilisation of sediment based on international experiences. In addition, we would also like to analyse whether dredging can provide a permanent solution for keeping good water quality in long-term.

The language of the event will be Hungarian and English, with simultaneous interpretation.

The seminar will be organized on ZOOM platform. The direct link, meeting ID, and passcode, which are required to join the online event, can be found below:
Meeting ID: 857 6180 7414
Passcode: 012957


Living Lakes Network launches new video on saving lakes of the world

Living Lakes is a worldwide network for the protection of the invaluable natural resources that our blue planet holds. Inland waters are elemental to sustaining life on earth – but in many places they are under threat. More than 130 partner organisations around the world are joining forces to preserve what sustains us. Join us and help to save the lakes and wetlands of the world!

Watch the new video for an insight into Living Lakes and what we stand for.

Invitation to the “Water Film Club” on 23 March 2021

hand in water

The Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency is organizing an online event on March 23, 2021 to mark World Water Day. The aim of the event is to raise the awareness of participants on the importance of water and to increase their knowledge about the global hydrological cycle, water footprint, human water consumption and the water management developments and investments in the Lake Balaton region.

The presentations in the morning session will be in Hungarian (and interpretation will not be available). However, in the afternoon, as closure of the event, we will organise a “Water Film Club”, where we would like to introduce short video films on the protection of water habitats and water management of lakes from all over the world.

First of all, we would like to say thank to those of you, who had already sent video films for this session. Secondly, we would highly appreciate, if you could join us in the Water Film Club as participants.

The event will be implemented by using the ZOOM webinar software.
Time: March 23, 2021 at 14.00 (CET)
Direct link to join the event:
Meeting ID: 881 2566 9290
Passcode: 593359


Invitation to join webinar on tackling eutrophication in lakes

lake balaton hungary

The Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency has invited Living Lakes partners and friends to join a free online seminar on ‘Experiences and good practices to tackle eutrophication in shallow lakes applying thin-layer sediment dredging technologies’ which takes place on March 16 2021.

With about 600 km2 surface area, Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe and it is one of the most important natural treasures of Hungary. Just like in case of other shallow lakes, sediments play an important role in the nutrient cycling of Lake Balaton.

As a result of high external loads of nutrients in the past, sediments became storages of such substances. The surface layer of sediments of shallow lakes can readily be resuspended due to wind induced wave action and contribute to the nutrient load (internal load) and, eventually to eutrophication which is manifested in harmful algal blooms.

Removal of the most active, most polluted surface sediment layer (10-30 cm) by thin layer dredging is a common technique in water quality/eutrophication control. In addition to overall water quality improvement of a shallow lake, dredging may contribute to providing better quality and utility value for beaches and small-boat harbours.

In the seminar, we would like to draw attention to the importance and impacts of sediment dredging on large shallow lakes, and to introduce Hungarian and international dredging best practices and experiences. The planned programme of the event can be found in the attachment. The language of the event will be Hungarian, English and Japan, with simultaneous interpretation.

The seminar will be organized on ZOOM,  the direct link, meeting ID, and passcode to join the meeting are found below:
Meeting ID: 886 4742 7533
Passcode: 937450

Invitation to join STREAM webinar series hosted by Living Lakes Canada

lake canada

Living Lakes Canada has invited Living Lakes partners and friends to join in a free STREAM webinar series in March, April and May 2021.

The purpose of this four-part webinar series hosted by Living Lakes Canada is to introduce the STREAM (Sequencing The Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) project to anyone interested in community-based water monitoring.

There are four webinars in the series which will be hosted on Zoom.

  • 1. An introduction to STREAM (25/03)
  • 2. An introduction to CABIN (08/04)
  • 3. STREAM Users – featured case studies (29/04)
  • 4. Indigenous-led STREAM projects (27/05).

For more information and to register for the webinars please visit the Living Lakes Canada website.

Invitation to join Global Nature Fund’s World Wetlands Day 2021 online seminar

The Global Nature Fund has invited Living Lakes partners and friends to participate in a free online event on 2nd February, World Wetlands Day 2021, from 1pm – 2pm GMT.

The event on Threatened Lake Areas is the start of an online seminar series of the Working Group on Water in the Forum Environment and Development: “City – Country – Waters: Water for All?!”

The event will be organised on the ZOOM platform. Further information on registration and a detailed agenda will be provided on our website and social media soon.

UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference 2019 Papers

The UK and Ireland Lakes Network Conference – Lakes Protecting, Enhancing and Restoring was held in Westport, Ireland.

The conference papers are here:

Global Perspective on Lakes  Udo Gattenlöhner, Global Nature Fund

Lake Water Quality and the Water Framework Directive – Maths and Facts.  Dierdre Tierney, Environmental Protection Agency

Lough Forbes and challenges for safe drinking water.  Andrew Boylan, Irish Water

Odds and sods: Irish lakes and the Habitats Directive  Aine O Connor, National Parks and Wildlife

WFD and Fish in Lakes Monitoring – Methods, Trends and Climate change.  Fiona Kelly, Inland Fisheries Ireland

Lough Carra: past, present and future.  Chris Huxley and Tom Byrne, Lough Carra Catchment Association

The Local Authority Waters Programme–Lake Local Catchment Assessments in Action.  Bernadette White, Local Authorities Water Programme 

The Group Water Scheme sector in Ireland: An under-utilised resource for improving ecosystem services delivery?  Alec Rolston, Dundalk, institute of Technology

Cranes, drains and net carbon gains –working towards sustainable wetland management in the Broads National Park, UK, Dan Hoare, Broads Authority

Predicting in-lake responses to change using near real time models Tadhg Moore, PROGNOS PROJECT, DKIT

Remote sensing – a tool for lake assessment. Gary Free , Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing for the Environment

Assessing the potential of drones to take water samples and physicochemical data from open lakes. Conor Graham, Galway Mayo, Institute of Technology  

The Blue Dot Catchment Programme – preserving Irelands high status lakes. Cormac Mc Conigley, Local Authorities Water Programme

The Clones Lakes: How water quality decline is captured in charophyte lakes.
Mr Nick Stewart, Consultant 


On the second day conference delegates were treated to site visits to Loch Carra where this film was shared  and a tour of Burrishoole Research Station.