European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology under the auspices of UNESCO, International Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences
The European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology (ERCE) is an international institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (emerged from International Centre for Ecology in 2008), and the category II UNESCO centre.
The aim of the Centre is to develop the international and national research activities focused on interactions between hydrological, biogeochemical and biological processes at the catchment scale from the point of view of the optimal management, protection and restoration of water resources. A special emphasis is put on the use of ecosystem properties as a tool for environmental management and restoration (ecohydrological approach). The scientific profile of the Centre is focused on further development of ecohydrological science and its implementation for restoring freshwater resources in the framework of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme. Priority is being given to delivering tools for implementing the European Water Framework Directive as part of Poland's national cooperation. Another research activities include: hydrobiology, river ecology, fish ecology, environmental chemistry, landscape processes, socio-ecological systems, soil ecology, bioindication, phytotechnology (including remediation) and ecotoxicology.
ERCE co-operates with many Polish and international institutions and has long experience in coordinating national and international research projects linking science with policy and management. Those include: Three LIFE+ projects: “EKOROB: Ecotones for reducing diffusion pollution”, “ENVEUROPE: Environmental quality and pressures assessment across Europe: the LTER network as an integrated and shared system for ecosystem monitoring”, “EH-REK: Ecohydrologic rehabilitation of Arturowek recreational reservoirs (in Lodz) as a model approach to rehabilitation of urban reservoirs”. Two IAP projects: “Towards Engineering Harmony Between Water, Ecosystem and Society. Strengthening the Collaboration between European Academies of Science in the IAP Water Programme” and “Water, Ecosystem Services and Society - establishing the Collaboration between European Academies of Science under the IAP Water Programme and European Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network”, and an european project ”EXPEER: Distributed Infrastructure for EXPErimentation in Ecosystem Research”. ERCE is also involved in a series of national projects e.g. "Explanation of cause-effect relationships between the occurrence of toxinogenic cyanobacterial blooms, and abiotic and biotic factors with particular emphasis on the role of viruses and bacteria", "Analysis of point sources pollution of nutrients, dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in the Pilica River catchment and draw up of reclamation methods".
ERCE has also experience in consulting, and in preparation and evaluation of national and regional projects related to policy and resource management. It has been a leading author in: “Expert appraisement on the plan of development of the Nieszawa reservoir on the Vistula River”, “Plan of adaptation to WFD - the infrastructure and operational procedures for the Raciborz Dolny Reservoir on the Oder River” and “Development of management plan for limited use area of the Lodz Water Treatment Plant towards compromising water quality needs and bioenergy production”.