Our selected rewilding areas
We are selecting ten large areas in Europe, where we are focusing our work for the coming ten years and probably more. In these areas we are showcasing what is actually possible when it comes to making Europe a wilder place, providing inspiration for hundreds of other rewilding initiatives, all across the continent.
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More than thirty areas have so far been nominated to us. We have selected the first seven of these and the rewilding work has already started there. Three more areas are already in the pipeline, whereas the final one is still open for nomination. Our plan is to select areas in different countries and corners of our continent, with different ecosystems, habitats, challenges and opportunities.
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These first seven areas span 9 countries. More than 25 different organisations have become local partners with us there – including national parks, nature parks, archaeological parks, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, universities, foundations, local communities, and NGOs.
The nomination process started in Prague, back in May 2009, at the “Conference on Wilderness and Large Natural Habitat Areas”. There, we asked for nominations from local conservation organisations that wanted their areas to become part of a great new initiative to make Europe wilder. This initiative was later named ”Rewilding Europe”. Through several on-site visits and detailed feasibility studies we have tried to assess the rewilding potential in each area – the protection status, land ownership pattern, human settlements, threats, opportunities, land abandonment, tourism potential, relevant business initiatives, ecological status, hunting concessions and institutional situation.