Our mission

“Rewilding Europe wants to make Europe a wilder place. We want much more space for wildlife, wild nature and natural processes. We want to bring back the variety of life for us all to enjoy. And we want to explore new ways for people to earn a fair living from the wild. Let’s make Europe a wilder place together!”

European bison (Bison bonasus) Bialowieza forest, Poland

European bison (Bison bonasus) Bialowieza forest, Poland
Stefano Unterthiner/Wild Wonders of Europe


How do we want to achieve this?

Rewilding Europe brings a new conservation vision for Europe, with wild nature [1] and natural processes as its key elements, where rewilding is applicable to any type of landscape or level of protection. Treating nature as something that is fully capable of taking care of itself, if given the opportunity to do so. This concept could become the main management principle for many natural areas in the future. Just let nature take care of itself.

Rewilding Europe is working to allow natural processes to play a vital role in shaping our landscapes and ecosystems. Among such natural processes are flooding (like erosion and sedimentation), weather conditions (like storms, avalanches and wind-shaped sand dunes), natural calamities (like natural fires and disease), natural grazing (the role of herbivores of all kinds in creating vegetation dynamics), predation (the impact of carnivores on their prey species and thereby the vegetation), the role of scavenging, and many others.

Rewilding Europe particularly focuses on turning the problems caused by the on-going, large-scale land abandonment into opportunities for man and nature. Providing a viable business case for wild nature in Europe. Several areas have the potential to become world-class nature tourism attractions, alongside the many other ways of reaping economic benefits from the wild.

Rewilding Europe aims to rewild at least one million hectares of land by 2022 [2], creating ten magnificent wildlife and wilderness areas of international quality, that become the base for a new competitive, sustainable rural economy in these areas. Serving as inspirational examples for what can also be achieved elsewhere.

Rewilding Europe recognizes natural grazing as one of the key ecological factors for naturally open and half-open landscapes, upon which a large part of Europe’s biodiversity is dependent. We are working to allow our native herbivores to return again in significant, more natural numbers to the lands where they once belonged and where they can again play their ecological role.

Rewilding Europe recognizes the crucially important ecological role of the large carnivores, as well as that of the smaller predators, the raptors and the scavengers. The brown bear, the wolf, the Eurasian lynx, the Iberian lynx,  the wolverine and many other carnivores are necessary for the natural functioning of the ecosystems they live in.

Rewilding Europe emphasizes the joy and the value of wildness, and takes active part in a strong communication on everything from local to an international level. This in order to stimulate a greater sense of pride in the wild and to spread a vision of a wilder continent. By using a broad range of communication tools and partnerships to promote our natural heritage and showcase the opportunities for rewilding to many millions of Europeans.

We invite all strands of society to be part of this exciting and ground-breaking initiative.

Making Europe a Wilder Place.


[1] In this document, ’wild nature’ or ‘wilderness’ is defined as ‘’large landscapes that are governed by essential natural processes, which create the necessary space for all of our original animals and plants, including man’’.  

[2] Most rewilding areas have started in 2012 or start even in 2014 and 2015 (new areas) so the ten-year vision date differs from area to area.