Making Europe a wilder place: Rewilding Europe takes off!
17 August 2011 – Our ambitious initiative to rewild 1 million hectares of land in Europe by 2020 is now well underway and our local partners are starting up a series of concrete rewilding actions in the field and negotiating with the different stakeholders on many levels. It is very exciting to see this machinery start rolling and the win-win situations develop, the one after the other! Since the official launch of Rewilding Europe on 18 November 2010 in Brussels, our team has been working hard to get everything in place for this huge undertaking. On the ground in the rewilding areas, as well as on an organisational, central level. A large part of our work has been the strengthening of our relationships with the Rewilding Europe project teams in our five selected rewilding areas and working with them on their proposals. I am proud to say that we have all made great progress in our thinking about rewilding and how the five projects can put this joint vision of ours into practice.
We have also laid a solid organisational ground for Rewilding Europe’s further progress – delivering important paperwork like business plan, conservation programme, funding proposals, communication strategy, staffing plan and other strategic documents. The Rewilding Europe Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, was formally registered on 28 June in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. We also created a for-profit company, Rewilding Europe Ltd, which is fully owned by the foundation. Two real milestones for our initiative. We have further cemented our key relationships with the founding partners of Rewilding Europe: WWF Netherlands, ARK Nature, Wild Wonders of Europe and Conservation Capital.
This first newsletter marks the start of an increased communication around Rewilding Europe. For regular updates you can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Our completely new website is also live from today – featuring news, rewilding blogs, a Press room, inspirational links, presentations of the initiative, info about our rewilding areas, and soon galleries from these. We are also working with Wild Wonders of Europe on bringing the huge outdoor exhibitions to the major cities in our rewilding countries.
There are of course a lot of challenges ahead of us. Finding new and innovative solutions will require open minds, serious thinking, flexibility and a lot of learning on the job. I believe that our method to combine conservation, communication and business in a truly connected way, is a unique approach which holds great potential and forms the very DNA of Rewilding Europe. However, at the end of the day, what really counts and what really drives us are concrete rewilding results on the ground. Having visited all the rewilding areas in the last six months, I am confident there will be a lot of fascinating success stories to share with the rest of you during the years to come.
We hope that you will enjoy following us in the coming years as we work towards making Europe a wilder place.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Frans Schepers, Managing Director
PS. Please consider liking our Facebook page and tell all your friends about us!