Rawki Peak and Wyżnia, Bieszczady National Park, view from Polon

Local situation

Despite the promising initial results, the Rewilding Europe board decided to review and restructure the Eastern Carpathians rewilding area, before moving forward. This relates in particular to ensure a number of critical factors are being met to create a good base for success. We have started to explore with existing and potential new partners how this can be done. Important elements are to find out what would be needed to move more quickly ahead with concrete rewilding work on the ground. Other key factors relate to securing support of local key stakeholders and partners, team structure, and the enterprise component.

The potential of this area to remain part of the portfolio is very high. A number of tangible results have been achieved in this area already during the first year of operation. This was mainly linked to obtaining a good overview of the opportunities for rewilding in the Bieszczady region in Poland and the Polininy area in and around the Polininy National Park in Slovakia. A feasibility study showed that the Eastern Carpathians rewilding area provides huge rewilding opportunities on both the Slovakian and Polish side. Also, there is a large local support with local communities and authorities for the initiative on the Slovak side, as shown by a poll held in 2012.

For these reasons, Rewilding Europe is strongly committed to continue support to this rewilding area. Conclusions of the review are expected in the second half of this year.