Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Making it real

Through four initial pilot projects, addressing river restoration at two sites along the Råne and Pite rivers and the conservation of large-scale reindeer migration in Udtja Sami community linked to local economic development, Rewilding Lapland aims at demonstrating how nature and entrepreneurship can work hand in hand, creating new jobs and income at the same as supporting the conservation of nature. The projects have also been chosen to create new development opportunities for people as an alternative to traditional extractive industry development, like forestry and mining, with nature, wildlife and traditional culture at the core.

Taiga boreal forests and magnificent rivers of Lapland

The headwater lands of Vietasätno River, Stora Sjöfallet National Park, Laponia UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lapland rewilding area, Norrbotten, Sweden.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Together with local partner organizations, including the Sami community, Rewilding Lapland will start working in a number of pilot sites addressing four priority topics: river restoration, safeguarding reindeer migration, developing new economic models related to wildlife, untamed nature and indigenous culture, and linking the local rewilding enterprises in regional, national and international networks.


Wilder nature

Following success indicators have been set for the first 3 years (2016–2018):

  • Activities started to secure reindeer migration in two Sami communities – Girjas with mountain reindeer and Udtja with forest reindeer – with better protection of especially winter feeding areas and no threats from mining exploitation;
  • River restoration activities have been undertaken at two sites along the Pite River (Trollforsen) and Råne River (Abramsån), creating new spawning grounds for trout and grayling and reduced threats from surrounding forestry activities;
  • Full support received from key stakeholders – Sami communities, Norrbotten County Board, local administrations, landowners, forest companies & local inhabitants.

Wildlife comeback

Following success indicators have been set for the first 3 years (2016–2018):

  • Trout and grayling populations have started their recovery;
  • The European beaver is not hunted in the river restoration areas;
  • The populations of semi-domestic mountain and forest reindeer are not declining because threats from forestry and mining;
  • Species like brown bear, wolverine and Eurasian lynx are seen as local assets by the local communities.

Nature based economies

Following success indicators have been set for the first 3 years (2016–2018):

  • Rewilding relevant enterprises are established in four project areas (Udtja, Girjas, Pite River & Råne River), providing guided tours, receiving loans and grants, and creating new jobs and income;
  • A local network of rewilding enterprises is established, linking up the four pilot areas;
  • The rewilding enterprises are linked up nationally and internationally in terms of marketing and attracting customers.

Interest in the wild

Following success indicators have been set for the first 3 years (2016–2018):

  • A local interest has been created for the protection of wildlife through the rewilding-enterprise activities;
  • The rewilding Lapland area has started to become better known nationally and internationally;
  • New donors are interested to invest in and support the work of Rewilding Lapland and its partners;
  • A communications platform (website, social media outreach, printed material & film) has been created, with an increasing outreach success.