First five rewilding areas
20 Nominations, 5 top areas selected!
Participants of the May 2009 “Conference on Wilderness and Large Natural Habitat Areas” were invited to submit nominations for becoming part of Rewilding Europe (formerly The Wild Europe Field Programme). Twenty applications from across Europe were received and detailed feasibility studies conducted on six areas. The subsequent field visits assessed the protection status, land ownership, human settlement, threats, land abandonment, tourism, relevant business initiatives, ecological status and institutional situation from which five areas were chosen to serve as the first model projects:
These five areas span 7 countries, but with an emphasis on the eastern parts of the continent. More than 30 different organisations have become local partners – including national parks, nature parks, geoparks, archaeological parks, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, universities, foundations, local communities, and NGOs.
Main achievements in all rewilding areas so far:
- Detailed planning and budgeting for each of the rewilding areas, leading to sub-contracts from Rewilding Europe with each of the project teams to deliver their work for the first years.
- Training seminars on conservation enterprise development, rewilding and communication and outreach to increase capacity in all of the teams.
- Extensive scoping of business opportunities in the rewilding area and at the general level, many existing business identified and new business ideas developed.
- Identification of pilot sites for starting the first rewilding activities, in particular for breeding and reintroduction of wildlife species.
- Photo missions to all of the projects by professional photographers, which resulted in great imagery of all the rewilding areas.