Arcadia has just awarded Rewilding Europe a grant of 5 million dollars. The money will be used to advance European rewilding in three main areas, under the umbrella of our Strategic Plan 2021-2030.
Delivering Strategy 2030
Rewilding Europe has been awarded a grant of 5 million dollars (roughly 4.8 million euros) from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The grant will help us to deliver on the ambitions set out in our Strategic Plan 2021-2030 (“Strategy 2030”), which has the overall aim of advancing and scaling up European rewilding.
The new funding will see Rewilding Europe build on and extend the work we have been carrying out in the current phase of collaboration with Arcadia, which began in 2019. Efforts in this next phase (2022-2026) will focus on three main areas – developing innovative rewilding models, supporting wildlife comeback and coexistence, and scaling up and enhancing European rewilding.
“We are thrilled, humbled and hugely gratified by the continued trust placed in us by Arcadia,” says Frans Schepers, Rewilding Europe’s Executive Director. “This substantial new funding will help us to grow both our demonstration role in rewilding landscapes across Europe, and our upscaling role beyond these landscapes, with the goal of making rewilding far more widely practiced.”
Making rewilding investable
By 2030, Rewilding Europe wants to see rewilding practised extensively, at scale, right across Europe, as a wide range of actors from the private and public sector come together to co-create a wilder continent. Strategy 2030 is our way of helping that vision become a reality.
The private sector will be essential to this scaling up process, which is why Rewilding Europe is working to develop and demonstrate innovative and scalable rewilding models. By making rewilding commercially investable and economically competitive, these models – which encompass everything from the transformation of forests and restoration of peatland to wildlife photography and dam removal – will amplify its positive impact.
Supported by Arcadia’s first phase funding we have already made good progress developing models for a range of sectors and interventions. The new funding will help us to create a pipeline of investable rewilding businesses, involving new finance mechanisms and investment from the private and corporate sector.
Supporting wildlife comeback
Supporting wildlife comeback has always been a core activity in Rewilding Europe – either by providing the right conditions for wildlife species to return of their own accord, or through reintroductions and population reinforcements. To accelerate wildlife comeback across and beyond our rewilding landscapes, the new Arcadia funding will be used to develop a new approach and tool, tentatively called the “European Wildlife Comeback Fund”.
The aim of the new initiative, which will be officially launched later this year, is to support reintroductions and population reinforcements in a proactive and flexible way. Following IUCN guidelines, it will focus on building minimum viable populations of keystone species and promoting human-wildlife coexistence in our landscapes and beyond. Natural grazing with large herbivores will be advanced as a key natural process, following the outcomes and recommendations of the EU GrazeLIFE initiative (co-funded by Arcadia). The role of wildlife in capturing carbon to address the impact of climate change (“Animating the Carbon Cycle“) will also be promoted.
Scaling up and enhancing European rewilding
The new Arcadia funding will see Rewilding Europe scale up and enhance the burgeoning European rewilding movement in several ways, with a focus on network and coalition building. We will improve and expand the European Rewilding Network and the European Young Rewilders, while setting up an online training platform to share and disseminate knowledge and best practice.
Based on a positive first meeting in Spain in 2019, we will also bring together all European rewilding organisations in a European Rewilding Coalition. Last but not least, we will collaborate with the EUROPARC Federation to explore how the rewilding of European protected areas (wilder parks) can be promoted. The rewilding of such areas could help to spearhead and scale up nature recovery in Europe.
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Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $910 million to projects around the world.