A 10-year vision
Making the Danube Delta a much wilder place. For the benefit of nature and people.
The Danube Delta, the largest river delta wetland in Europe, has become one of the finest, wildest, best-protected and most famous wildlife areas of the whole continent.
The area provides new sources of income and pride for the people who live here and in the surrounding Romanian and Ukrainian regions. Also, the Danube Delta inspires people in other natural areas to approach their problems and opportunities also using rewilding as a tool.
Danube Delta ecosystems have been preserved, and at the same time, vast areas have become much wilder than before. The Rewilding Europe initiative will focus on the outer delta to achieve this on both sides of the Romanian/Ukrainian borders. RE will build on past restoration and conservation projects done by founders of the partner organisation in Ukraine side like the reflooding of Ermakov-island and the Tataru project in Izmail Islands park.
A number of large core rewilding areas that have no-hunting and no-logging regimes, are connected through wildlife and wilderness corridors and surrounded by zones for different kinds and levels of sustainable use. In the core rewilding areas, to a great extent, nature is regulated by ecological processes, with wildlife and fish populations in natural densities and with the original native species present. Here the people of the delta have chosen for a more sustainable development and management of the landscape and the wildlife species, providing good conditions for a wildlife based economy.
The rewilding process has also provided examples of new or additional ways to make a living, based on these wild resources. This includes wildlife watching and the sustainable harvesting and marketing of fish and wild meat in the buffer zones of the rewilding area. This is a vital part of the income for people in the region. Furthermore, the land use changes, rural exodus, loss of biodiversity and fading traditional culture has been turned into new opportunities, attracting both young and old entrepreneurial people as well as many more and better paying visitors from far outside the region.
Also, the Rewilding areas of the Danube Delta region will eventually be connected through ecological corridors within the Lower Danube Green Corridor (ranging from the source of the Danube all the way downstream to the Delta) supported through the Natura 2000 and the Emerald Network of reserves.