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Luc Hoogenstein, The Netherlands

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Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Europe is an ambitious new initiative between WWF Netherlands, ARK Nature and Wild Wonders of Europe, pioneering a unique concept that aims to rewild one million hectares of Europe’s abandoned landscape by 2020, in part, through the reintroduction of the original wild, large, grazing herbivores.

A unique, historical opportunity is unfolding in Europe. Urbanisation and depopulation of rural areas are leading to large-scale land abandonment. Never before has the social and economic situation in Europe allowed large parts of the countryside to be taken out of active use without a clear perspective of its future.

Rewilding Europe aims to turn this situation into an opportunity in which a modern society can be built on a wilderness comeback, creating an economically viable, nature based economy. A 21st century economy.

Rewilding Europe was launched on the 18th of November 2010, facilitated by Princess Laurentien van Oranje with representatives of the first five field projects (Velebit, Western Iberia, Danube Delta, Southern Carpathians and Eastern Carpathians), major funding institutions, politicians, economists, communities and NGO’s from all over the continent, who jointly called for action to rewild Europe.

More information on Rewilding Europe and its key issues can be found online at

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