New grant to boost Rewilding Europe’s growth

August 13, 2020

A new grant from Adessium Foundation will enable Rewilding Europe to strengthen its core functions over the next three years. By empowering both central and local level teams, the funding will enhance the initiative’s capacity to deliver rewilding results and impact going forwards.

During the autumn, the extended Romanian rewilding team set out to identify, describe and mark hiking and bicycle trails across the Bison Hillock, part of the Southern Carpathians rewilding area.
Adessium Foundation, which supports and encourages people and organisations to live in harmony with nature, has supported Rewilding Europe since 2011.
Bogdan Comanescu


Scaling up

Rewilding Europe is delighted to announce that the Dutch philanthropic fund Adessium Foundation will continue to support Rewilding Europe for another three-year period. The new grant will help Rewilding Europe strengthen its core functions, both at a central and local level, through until June 2023. Such functions encompass governance and operations, enterprise, the monitoring of rewilding results and impact, and rewilding-related policy.

Adessium has been instrumental in the development of Rewilding Europe, providing vital support since the start of our initiative in 2011. While previous grants have focused on specific rewilding areas, the new grant will help Rewilding Europe to achieve the ambitions set out in its current growth scenario – titled “Outlook 2025” – which was embarked on in 2019. Its overall aim is to enable Rewilding Europe to deliver and scale up meaningful results and impact by strengthening the initiative’s resilience and capacity.

“We are deeply grateful for the continued trust that Adessium Foundation has shown in our work,” says Willem Nolens, Rewilding Europe’s Head of Finance and Operations. “Rewilding Europe has seen rapid growth in recent years and we now have a unique opportunity to scale up our work as we look to the future. This new grant will enable us to strengthen our organisation and ensure we can increase our impact in a highly efficient manner.”


Four key areas

Wildlife watching hide near Deven, Western Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria
Some of the Adessium funding will be used to strengthen Rewilding Europe’s enterprise work.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Having experienced sustained growth since foundation, Rewilding Europe nevertheless remains a small, entrepreneurial, agile initiative committed to lean operations. This commitment underpins the strong working relationship between our central and local teams right across Europe, with creative and effective co-production helping us to maximise rewilding impact on the ground.

The new grant follows a range of recommendations generated by a formal, independent evaluation of Rewilding Europe covering the period 2016-2019, which was delivered at the request of Adessium Foundation and WWF Netherlands (the latter has also been a key partner and supporter of Rewilding Europe since 2011).  The recommendations generated by the evaluation have informed the way the grant money will be allocated – which is essentially unrestricted – and fall into four key areas:

  • strengthening governance and operations
  • strengthening our enterprise component
  • advancing monitoring of results and impact
  • creating a local enabling policy environment for rewilding

Within each of these areas, various measures have been assigned a lower or higher priority. Under enterprise, for example, one of the priorities is to take on two enterprise officers, in the Rhodope Mountains and Velebit Mountains. Another priority is to ensure that results and impact from specific rewilding tools at test sites are properly monitored, in order to strengthen demonstration of impact and proof of concept.


Continuing the journey

Next year is Rewilding Europe’s tenth anniversary. With its emphasis on delivering results and impact, the initiative has already played a major role in establishing rewilding as an increasingly mainstream approach to conservation in Europe. With the continued trust and support of valued partners such as Adessium Foundation, we look ahead to making Europe an even wilder place.


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