The REC's Biodiversity Topic Area is currently implementing the project "Wetlands Conservation and Restoration in Kampinos National Park". Located near the Polish capital, Warsaw, the Natura 2000 site is threatened by falling groundwater levels, making remedial action necessary. The goals of the project are therefore to improve water levels in particular parts of the Kampinos wetlands; protect open wetland habitats; and minimise conflicts between nature protection and social development objectives.
The reconciliation of nature protection and human interests is a crucial challenge for the project, and was the focus of much attention at the planning stage. With careful planning, it is possible to enhance moisture levels in wetlands that are located in built-up areas without negatively affecting the living conditions of local populations.
Project outcomes will include the construction of 40 small dams in drainage ditches, and the building of levees that will limit the draining of wetland habitats through the Lasica Cana - the area's main drainage channel. New drains will be created through which water will flow to lower layers, while other drainage sites will be removed. The project gives particular emphasis to protecting local populations from surface water: a levee situated near the village of Sadowo will be developed and modernised, and Kampinos National Park will purchase a 120-hectare plot of meadow that is prone to periodic flooding.
The project, which has a budget of EUR 4.3 million, will come to an end in 2018. Funding comes from the LIFE+ Programme (the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects) and from Poland's National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Partners include Kampinos National Park; the Polish Institute of Technology and Life Sciences; REC Poland; Warsaw University of Life Sciences; and the Provincial Management of Drainage, Irrigation and Infrastructure. REC Poland is responsible for coordinating the consortium and for educational and consultancy activities.