Thetis provided a consultancy service on the governance of wetlands, within the European project WaterLANDS (Horizon 2020).

Starting from a literature review and an in-depth analysis of 14 case studies (related to 11 European countries in the Continental, Mediterranean and Atlantic bioregions), the study addressed the main governance elements that commonly favor or hinder the implementation of successful actions for the conservation and restoration of wetlands. The information on the case studies was gathered by analyzing the available documentation and by involving the stakeholders, through various interviews and the preparation of a questionnaire.

The final report of the study underlines the importance of wetlands for the numerous ecosystem services offered and describes the main policies that can support conservation and recovery actions in these areas. Finally, the study proposes several possible theoretical models of governance to be considered, case by case, in different wetlands, according to the socio-economic context and the different environmental characteristics.

For each model, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and barriers were analysed, to facilitate the choice of the most suitable model. Finally, to further support the decision-making process, numerous recommendations have been formulated, with examples of concrete actions, to transform barriers into opportunities and mitigate the weaknesses of the various forms of governance.