Shared by: 
Action Group 8 - Risk governance
Lead organization: 
Civil Protection Agency - Autonomous Province of Bolzano

HyMoCARES - HydroMorphological assessment and management at basin scale for the Conservation of Alpine Rivers and related Ecosystem Services


River corridors represent one of the most used and modified landscape elements in the Alps. They provide key ecosystem services (ES), but currently many of them are at risk or significantly degraded. In order to ensure their conservation or restoration, the effects of human uses on ES need to be understood and tackled. In particular, river hydromorphological processes have a key role to ensure habitat maintenance and ecological connectivity and are strongly related to strategic societal challenges such as flood risk mitigation, renewable energy production, biodiversity conservation and ensuring recreational values of Alpine valleys.

Suitable approaches are needed to clarify the links between uses, hydromorphological processes and ES availability and to make ES more transparent to the public, support conflict resolution, and design cost-effective mitigation and restoration measures. The project will develop a conceptual framework, currently not available, and operational tools, comprising novel methods, to integrate ES in Alpine river basin planning and management, with a special focus on factors affecting river hydromorphology, including sediment continuity, while ensuring integration of local and basin scales. Particular care will be devoted to identify actual planning, management, operational activities where the proposed approach can be applied and to collaborate directly with relevant actors, both public and private, in order to ensure proper transfer of project outputs and thus a tangible real-scale impact. In order to ensure integration and transferability of the approach to all Alpine countries and to effectively tackle management issues with a clear regional/cross-border component, the consortium includes a transnational network of policy makers, public officers and practitioners in charge of river planning and management at different levels, as well as scientific experts on river hydromorphology and ecology and NGOs. 

 the implementation of HyMoCARES it is expected that  effective operational approaches to improve ES related to river hydromorphology are integrated in the implementation process of EU legislation and in daily river management by relevant target groups.

The main expected outputs are:

  • a methodological framework, validated through case studies and interaction with stakeholders and target users, for the assessment of Ecosystem Services provided by Alpine rivers;
  • toolbox on hydromorphological monitoring and assessment procedures including guidance for indicator assessment by target users;
  • set of predictive/design tools to support planning and design of hydromorphological management and restoration measures including guidance for linking tools across scales;
  • report and online factsheets providing end-users with key information on benefits from stream management/restoration operations relative to ES and ecological continuity of river corridors, based on a network of emblematic rivers of the Alpine Space.
  • sectoral guidelines and checklists for final users on how HyMoCARES methods/tools can be integrated in specific planning/management/operational processes/steps/procedures;
  • legislative/regulatory revision proposals in partner countries/regions based on the HyMoCARES approach

For more information view https://www.alpine-space.eu/projects/hymocares/en/home

Start and closure dates: 
January 2017 to October 2019