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Bear Smart Communities of the Central Apennines boosted by new agreement

November 19, 2020

The Bear Smart Communities of the Central Apennines rewilding area in Italy are already benefitting Marsican brown bears and local residents. A new memorandum of understanding between Rewilding Europe and nature-focused property rental site nature.house will help to scale up their positive impact.

forollhogna national park , norway, september,
Rewilding Europe and nature.house share a strong conviction that nature conservation and economics can and should go hand in hand.
Vincent Munier/ Wild Wonders of Europe

 

Mutually beneficial partnership

Marsican brown bear in the Italian Central Apennines
A Marsican brown bear in the Italian Central Apennines.
Bruno D`Amicis

A new two-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Rewilding Europe and nature.house, a nature-focused accommodation rental website based in the Netherlands, is set to enhance rewilding in the Central Apennines rewilding area in Italy.

nature.house, which offers more than 16,000 unique accommodations located in natural settings across the world, will promote rewilding on their website and will donate 1 euro for every completed booking that takes place outside the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The donations will go to the recently established Bear Fund, which works to support the Bear Smart Communities of the Central Apennines rewilding area.

 

Community focus

Removing barbed wire in the bear corridors in the Central Apennines
The removal of barbed wire is one of the measures taken by the Rewilding Apennines team to ensure animals can move safely through wildlife corridors.
Bruno D'Amicis

Rewilding in the Central Apennines includes efforts to promote human-wildlife coexistence in five wildlife corridors developed by the Rewilding Apennines team. By connecting a number of key national parks and reserves, these corridors allow a wide range of animals to move safely between them. Such efforts involve connecting the local economy with wilder nature, as well as promoting harmonious and beneficial relations between the area’s endangered Marsican brown bears and local residents.

The Bear Smart Communities of the Central Apennines, which have also been developed by the Rewilding Apennines team, are all located within these wildlife corridors. They employ a number of measures to promote coexistence with bears, such as the installation of electric fences and the restoration of abandoned orchards.

“This new partnership is great news for the people and bears of the Central Apennines,” says Rewilding Apennines Enterprise Officer Valerio Reale, who oversees the fund. “We are already seeing Bear Smart Communities generate positive results and the extra funding will help us to take the network forwards.”

 

A natural fit

Abandoned house selected for restoration work in Ribeira do Mosteiro nature reserve.
Rewilding can stimulate rural economies, which are often associated with rural depopulation and declining productivity.
Agnelo Neutel/ Volunteer

Rewilding Europe and nature.house operate in different markets, but they share a set of common values, especially a passion for wild nature. Both partners also hold a strong conviction that such nature is not only vital for human wellbeing but also that nature conservation and economics can and should go hand in hand. At Rewilding Europe, for example, we believe that people must be able to earn a fair living from the wild, which is why we are working to develop nature-based economies in all of our rewilding areas.

“I have always believed that economics and the environment can benefit each other, so supporting rewilding makes perfect sense,” says nature.house CEO Tim van Oerle, an avid birdwatcher who co-founded the site with his brother Luuk in 2009. “Wherever they choose to go, our clients can now connect with nature safe in the knowledge that their booking is making a real difference to wild nature and communities in the heart of Europe.”

 

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