Making it real

The Oder Delta is brought to the European map, making it a well-known rewilding area and a nature-based tourism destination. Starting on pilot sites, different models of how a rewilding area could look like are tested. Opportunities for creating new economic models based on wild nature, ecotourism and wildlife watching are developed in partnership with landowners and local entrepreneurs. This goes hand-in-hand with eco-tourism, promotion, education and communication to create a more positive attitude for a wilder Europe with much more wild nature, wilderness and wildlife.

Wild konik horses in the Oder Delta reserve, Stepnica, Poland

Wild konik horses in the Oder Delta reserve, Stepnica, Poland
Solvin Zankl / Rewilding Europe

 

New and existing wildlife watching enterprises, tours, tour operators, tourist packages for wildlife enthusiasts and innovative approaches on sustainable hunting and fishing shall be benefiting local communities. A network of local wilderness guides, wildlife watching tours and hides, lodging, related products and business opportunities is created economically benefiting the region. Promoting and developing enterprises, creating jobs and enterprise possibilities linked to the economic values of wild nature contributes to local support for the initiative. Eventually, the initiative creates an alternative and competitive form of land and sea use for local people, landowners and communities. The number of wildlife watching businesses has increased and the regional economy can thrive from nature.

Investors are encouraged to get involved investing in enterprises, run by professional operators in collaboration with the local communities. Further pilot sites and interested landowners and users will be identified, and the principle of wilder nature and non-intervention will be promoted as part of local development and management plans.

Many species are already present in the area or are returning on their own. With the incentive of creating “community wildlife zones” wildlife species that still reproduce in small numbers such as elk get better habitat conditions so that they can spread. Together with interested landowners, natural grazing systems will be started using semi-wild Konik Polski or Hucul horses, European bison and Tauros cattle. Together with interested hunting associations, no-take zones will be established for good conditions for reproduction and wildlife watching under undisturbed conditions.

The rewilding Oder Delta initiative is carried out in participation and in support of different stakeholders like local administrations, landowners, local inhabitants, tourism enterprises and hunters. Collaboration will also be sought with surrounding areas, in the West Pomeranian region, like Ińsko Lake or Drawa Lake District to the West and Międzyodrze to the South.