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Nature: our best ally

October 22, 2019

In today’s complex world, working with nature – rather than against it – can help us to overcome many challenges. A view which is embraced by 1% for the Planet, a charity which supports Rewilding Europe’s work, and which recently featured a longer version of the following article on their website.

Beaver (Castor fiber) in the Peene valley, Peene river, Anklam, Germany
As ecosystem engineers, beavers can be useful partners in flood mitigation.
Solvin Zankl/Rewilding Europe

 

A progressive partnership

At Rewilding Europe, we believe that wild nature and restored natural processes can be a vital partner as we attempt to overcome some of today’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. Working with nature can protect us from floods and coastal erosion, store carbon, stabilise crops, prevent wildfires, secure drinking water supplies, boost climate resilience, ensure human health and wellbeing, and drive economic growth.

From the greening of gardens, parks and cities right through to the large-scale rewilding of landscapes, a growing number of people, businesses and institutions are now realising that ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions are vital to the long-term health of our planet. The announcement of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 earlier this year illustrates the increasing importance of this concept on the international policy agenda.

At a European level, Rewilding Europe is now collaborating with partners such as WWF, BirdLife and scientists from across Europe to map the level of ecosystem degradation and rewilding potential in Europe. Underpinning this, a science-based framework for restoration, using rewilding principles, has been developed and published in leading scientific magazines. Through these efforts we aim to provide input for the new EU Biodiversity Strategy post-2020.

 

Walking the talk

Restoring Spawning Ground in the Pite river
Restoring spawning grounds on the Pite River in northern Sweden.
Emmanuel Rondeau

As nature-based solutions become more prominent in theoretical and political circles, so Rewilding Europe continues its practical work. Across our operational areas we are now demonstrating how rewilding can contribute significantly to the restoration agenda by delivering hugely positive outcomes at landscape scale, both for both wild nature and for people.

From boosting natural grazing and removing artificial barriers from rivers to encouraging wildlife comeback and growing nature-based tourism, our efforts prove that working with nature really is the best way forward, if we are to live in a Europe that is awe-inspiring, vibrant, healthy and prosperous.

 

Want to know more?

An extended version of this article appeared recently on the website of 1% for the Planet, established in 2002 by Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, and Craig Matthews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies. The charity, which supports Rewilding Europe, helps a wide range of environmental and conservation non-profits and organisations in their vital work. Companies and individuals can join the 1% network by donating 1% of their annual sales, salary or net worth to enable this support.

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