Lakes, rivers and wetlands provide a multitude of services to humanity. They cover a small proportion of the earth’s surface, but support major parts of global biodiversity.
Over recent years, many European Union funded research projects have investigated freshwaters – ranging from biodiversity related projects to others focusing on pressures and their effects on European inland waters, including appropriate rehabilitation strategies. However, the data generated by these projects is often difficult to access and use for water managers, policy makers, scientific communities and the general public. In order to make this detailed and wide-ranging knowledge of freshwater ecosystems accessible to all, four European research institutes in Austria, Belgium and Germany have joined forces to launch the Freshwater Information Platform, an interactive website integrating results and original data stemming from finished, ongoing, and future freshwater research projects. The platform contains several complementary sections, either providing access to original data or summarising research results in an easily digestible way. All sections are composed as ‘living documents’ that will be continuously improved and updated.
The Platform team highly welcomes contributions from other projects and invites scientists, students and other interested persons from all over the world to join in with this idea, adding data, maps or other information.