Rewilding Europe

Background and goals

Rewilding Europe aims at rewilding at least one million hectares/10,000 sq km of Europe by 2020, consisting of ten areas, each of at least 100,000 ha/1,000 sq km, which together reflect a wide selection of European regions and ecosystems, flora and fauna. Including areas of both land and sea, with each then showing a substantial wildlife comeback, supported by reintroductions where necessary. All work on location is done together with, or through a network of local conservation partners that share our visions and goals.

These ten areas are to serve as leading examples and inspirational bench marks for a large-scale shift in land use across Europe towards more nature-based economies.

Rewilding Europe’s programme builds on three guiding principles:

  • Every area should host complete and naturally functioning ecosystems specific to the region, with the full span of native wildlife typical for the region present.
  • The areas should be embedded within the social and cultural fabric of their respective region.
  • The new land use should be based on what nature can offer, be economically viable and competitive with other alternatives.

Rewilding Europe’s first five selected areas for the time period up to 2013 are:

1. Velebit Mountains (Croatia)

2. Western Iberia (Portugal and Spain)

3. Danube Delta (Romania)

4. Southern Carpathians (Romania)

5. Eastern Carpathians (Slovakia and Poland).

The next five pilot areas will be selected through a similar nomination process with the ambition that also Northern, North-Western and coastal/marine areas will have representation.