A 10-year vision

Making the Southern Carpathians a wilder place. For the benefit of nature and people.

This unique area of old-growth forests, wild mountains and a mosaic of open and farmed landscapes has been established as one of the finest, wildest, largest, best protected and famous wildlife and wilderness regions in Eastern Europe.

This unique natural setting is  being used as the basis for new sources of income and pride for those who live here, as well as providing inspiration for people in similar areas  to tackle their problems and opportunities by using also rewilding as a tool.

The wild values of the Southern Carpathian ecosystems are better preserved, and large areas have become much wilder than before, with a number of  large and well protected core wilderness areas that have no-take (no-hunting/no logging) regimes. These are connected through wilderness corridors and surrounded by buffer and transition areas for different types and levels of sustainable use. Land abandonment problems are being turned into opportunities for local people.

In the core wilderness areas, natural ecological processes are allowed to a great extent to regulate nature, with wildlife in fully natural densities and with all the original native wildlife species present. In these core areas, industrial landscape use has taken a clear step back, and man is not actively managing, neither landscape nor wildlife anymore.

The rewilding efforts provide examples of new or additional ways to make a living here, based on the existence and the availability of the wild resources. In combination with the sales of products from the surrounding areas, where people still use the landscape in traditional or other sustainable ways, this new economy has shown to be an important part of the future for people in the region. This has also gone hand in hand with socioeconomic developments. The negative spiral of land abandonment and rural exodus, loss of biodiversity and the fading traditional culture are being slowly transformed into new business opportunities that attract young and innovative entrepreneurs. The arrival of many new visitors, also from far outside the region, contribute to increasing incomes and creating new employment opportunities.