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LIFE NARMENA creates wetlands on the Laak and Winterbeek rivers

In the LIFE project NARMENA (Nature-based Remediation of Metal pollutants in Nature Areas to increase water storage capacity), the Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) and 6 project partners are looking for solutions to combat historical metal pollution.

Two types of non-invasive, nature-based remediation methods have been tested, in which the remediation of the soil (and the river bed) is focused on nature conservation and water storage.

NARMENA: what and why?

In the NARMENA project, demonstration projects are planned in the valleys of three watercourses contaminated with metals: the Grote Calie (Turnhout-Kasterlee region), the Winterbeek (Scherpenheuvel-Zichem region), and the Laak (Geel-Zammel region). By establishing phytoremediation fields and constructed wetlands, we can significantly reduce the bioavailability of metals, thereby reducing or eliminating potential risks to the ecosystem. As watercourse manager of the Laak and the Winterbeek, the VMM will work with other partners to create constructed wetlands in these areas.

Purpose of the project

LIFE Narmena - sfeerbeeldThe results and experiences of NARMENA will inspire us to develop a framework for the application of these cost-effective nature-based remediation solutions. These results will be compared with conventional remediation techniques and the findings disseminated within the EU, so we can encourage the competent authorities to apply these techniques (more often) in sensitive natural areas.

NARMENA in Europe

LIFE NARMENA is being carried out on behalf of the European Commission within the LIFE Projects programme led by the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM).

Project partners


Flanders Environment Agency (VMM)

Agentschap Natuur en Bos




ARCHE Consulting cvba

VMM contributes to the international policymaking and the implementation of environmental obligations.

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LIFE Narmena - Narmena + LIFE

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Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) covers three main areas: water, air quality and climate (adaptation).