Rewilding Principles

Solvin Zankl / Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Principles

The principles of rewilding

Rewilding practitioners from across Europe have co-formulated a set of principles that characterise and guide rewilding in a European context. All equally important, these are as follows..


Providing hope and purpose

Rewilding generates visions of a better future for people and nature that inspire and empower. The rewilding narrative not only tells the story of a richer, more vital tomorrow, but also encourages practical action and collaboration today.

Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Offering natural solutions

By providing and enhancing nature-based solutions, rewilding can help to mitigate environmental, social, economic and climatological challenges.

Staffan Widstrand

Thinking creatively

Rewilding means acting in ways that are innovative, opportunistic and entrepreneurial, with the confidence to learn from failure.

Andrey Nekrasov

Complementary conservation

Rewilding complements more established methods of nature conservation. In addition to conserving the most intact remaining habitats and key biodiversity areas, we need to scale up the recovery of nature by restoring lost interactions and restore habitat connectivity.

Nuno Sá / Wild Wonders of Europe

Letting nature lead

From the free movement of rivers to natural grazing, habitat succession and predation, rewilding lets restored natural processes shape our landscapes and seascapes in a dynamic way. There is no human-defined optimal point or end state. It goes where nature takes it. By helping nature’s inherent healing powers gaining strength, we will see people intervene less in nature going forwards.


Working at nature’s scale

Rewilding means working at scale to rebuild wildlife diversity and abundance and giving natural processes the opportunity to enhance ecosystem resilience, with enough space to allow nature to drive the changes and shape the living systems.

Staffan Widstrand

Acting in context

Rewilding embraces the role of people, and their cultural and economic connections to the land. It is about finding ways to work and live within healthy, natural vibrant ecosystems and reconnect with wild nature. We approach rewilding with a long-term knowledge of the environmental and cultural history of a place.

Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Building nature-based economies

By enhancing wildlife and ecosystems, rewilding provides new economic opportunities through generating livelihoods and income linked to nature’s vitality.

Bruno D’Amicis

Long-term focus

To ensure sustained positive effects on biodiversity and resilient ecosystems for future generations, rewilding efforts aim and work on a long-term perspective.

Bogdan Comanescu

Working together

Building coalitions and providing support based on respect, trust and shared values. Connecting people of all backgrounds to co-create innovative ways of rewilding and deliver the best outcomes for communities and wild nature.

Roy Beusker

Knowledge exchange

Exchanging knowledge and expertise to continually refine rewilding best practice and achieve the best possible rewilding results. Using the best-available evidence, gathering and sharing data, and having the confidence to learn from failure will lead to success.


Rewilding is an innovative and inspirational way of Europe’s nature recovery. By allowing natural processes to reshape and enhance ecosystems, rewilding can revitalise land and sea, helping to alleviate some of society’s most pressing challenges and creating spaces where nature and people can thrive in harmony.


Rewilding is also about the way we think. It is about understanding that we are just one species among many, bound together in an intricate web of life that connects us with the atmosphere, the weather, the tides, the soil, fresh water, the oceans and every other living creature on the planet.


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Grzegorz Lesniewski
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