From 5 to 8 November 2014, the very first European Land Stewardship Congress took place in Barcelona, Spain. More than 250 persons had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities from technical workshops to social activities. One of the presentations was about the European Rewilding Network of Rewilding Europe.
The European Rewilding Network (ERN) was presented during the Communications session ‘Land Stewardship: rewilding and species conservation initiatives’. One of the intriguing members of ERN is Fundació Catalunya la Pedrera (FCLP) with Muntanya d’Alinyà, located in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees. During the session, Xavier Escuté i Gasulla from FCLP received the official Membership Certificate from Yvonne Kemp, ERN Coordinator.
“The term rewilding is getting more and more known in international nature conservation, as also became clear during the Congress days,” says Yvonne Kemp. “The European Rewilding Network aims to facilitate a living network of rewilding initiatives, to support rewilding in Europe as a conservation tool. Within Rewilding Europe we very much recognize the importance to work together and build partnerships with local stakeholders. Therefore, initiatives addressing common land management and stewardship are stimulated to join the Network.”
The Barcelona congress has been the first one to make important steps forward and to learn lessons on land stewardship from each other in Europe but also from beyond. Valuable stories from the US, Canada and other non-European countries were highlighted, indicating the good chances for nature conservation when land stewardship plays a more prominent role. With over 250 participants, the will to work together on this topic is very clear.
After two days of networking and sharing stories, the Barcelona Declaration on Land Stewardship was formally presented and signed by several organisations including FCLP’s Miquel Rafa i Fornieles. The signed document aims to promote a European network of land stewardship.
The congress was organised by the LandLife project, which aims to boost land stewardship, a conservation strategy based on the co-responsibility of land users and landowners to manage and protect land and natural resources.
Already several rewilding initiatives that address this type of conservation are members of ERN. Check out how your initiative can join them in this expanding network at www.rewildingeurope.com/european-rewilding-network/.