GNF - Learning for Lakes

Learning for Lakes – A European Lakes Management Training Scheme

Sustainable management of lakes is a significant target of our society because in the EU they are important environments for nature as well as for economic and social development. However, there is a skills deficit among those responsible for lakes management relating to how these valuable treasures should be looked after and a lack of suitable vocational training and education.


In 2011, five organisations from the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain and Hungary created the Learning for Lakes partnership, bringing together experts in vocational training, environmental education and practitioners in lake management to address these issues. Participating countries reflect the wide variety of European Lakes – from shallow wetlands to mountainous uplands. In October 2011, the kick-off meeting of the project took place at the Milicz Ponds in Poland.


The objective of the partnership is to promote vocational education and training by sharing experience to address the skills deficit in sustainable management of lakes in the EU.

Specific objectives are

  1. Providing vocational education and training by experts in sustainable lake management for representatives from institutes and organisations whose work impacts the water quality of lakes and the ecological quality of its surrounding landscape.
  2. Creating a suite of e-learning tools for sustainable lake management for use by individuals, organisations and institutes whose work impacts on lakes.

While sustainable management covers a variety of topics the partnership will concentrate on the following four areas, which will form the subject of the e-learning tools:


  1. Economic Development and Lake Management - economic development, in particular tourism, is a key threat to sustainable lake management. This theme will develop skills in balancing the needs of the local economy with the need for healthy lakes.
  2. Lake and Wetland Restoration - many lakes and wetlands have been unsustainably managed in the past, despite the fact that they are important ecosystems. 
  3. Partnership and Community Involvement - engaging people - politically and personally - in sustainable management of lakes is crucial. Here, competences for cooperation with other organisations and local communities aiming at the creation of sustainable lakes will be developed.
  4. Cooperation with land managers including farmers and fishermen whose work affects lakes may play a decisive role in promoting sustainable development. The focus is on adressing this target groups and encourage practices that contribute to healthy lakes.

Project Implementation

The partnership works in two ways. Firstly, by bringing together trainers and practitioners at a series of multi-national meetings where the practitioners receive direct training in the skills required to manage lakes sustainably. Secondly, a component of the meetings will be the development of the e-learning tool dedicated to lakes management. Including both trainers and practitioners in this process ensures that the educational resources reflect the needs of those working in the field and the expertise of vocational education trainers. The innovative ICT-based learning tool will be the first e-tool being made available at a European level and will offer a new opportunity for vocational education and training for those involved in lakes management across Europe.

Project Meetings

The partnership meetings (a series of multi-national meetings) are a significant project component. They provide direct vocational and educational training to participants and give them the opportunity both to share their knowledge and to get to know other European cultures. The workshops and trainings by sharing of experience provided by the partnership meetings form a forum for development of the e-learning tool. They allow knowledge transfer from one participating country to others and across the EU.

27–28 October 2011

Kick-off meeting, Poland

Further information about the meeting ...

27 February – 2 March 2012

Expert meeting focusing on Lake and Wetland Restoration, Spain

Further information about the meeting ...

8–12 October 2012

Expert meeting focusing on Economic Development and Lake Management, Germany

Further information about the meeting ...

18–22 February 2013

Expert meeting focusing on Partnership Working and Community Engagement, UK 

Further information about the meeting ...

22–26 April 2013

Expert meeting focusing on Working with Land Managers, Farming and Fishing, Hungary

Further information about the meeting ...

1–5 July 2013

Final meeting on the outcomes and evaluation of the project, Poland

Further information about the meeting ...


About Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The EU Leonardo de Vinci programme offers a framework and financial support for European cooperation in the field of Lifelong Learning and Adult Education. It links policy to practice in the field of vocational education and training (VET). Projects range from those giving individuals the chance to improve their competences, knowledge and skills through a period abroad, to Europe-wide co-operation between training organisations.

Leonardo da Vinci focuses on vocational education and training, other than at tertiary level. It addresses both the learning and teaching needs in the sector, and is therefore aimed at all parties involved, namely trainees in vocational education, teachers and trainers, institutions and educational bodies, enterprises, associations, social partners and bodies relating to either lifelong learning or the labour market.

The results of all Lifelong Learning projects can be found on

 Logo EU-Lifelong Learning Programme

Project Duration:


Project Countries:


Project Partners:






August 2011 – July 2013


UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, Hungary


Environment Agency, Lake District (UK); Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczne "Etna", Barycz Valley (Poland); Fundación Global Nature, Valencia (Spain); Association of Civil Organisations of Lake Balaton, Lake Balaton (Hungary)


EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (Leonardo da Vinci)