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