Wild and robust nature side-to-side with human activities
European society faces many challenges, not the least in the face of climate change and the corresponding increasing intensity and occurrence of extreme weather events. To conserve biodiversity and the wellbeing of human society, we need to explore nature-based solutions for these challenges.
Process-oriented nature conservation, allowing for functional ecological processes driving nature, is one of the major nature-based solutions available. Ecological processes like flooding, free roaming and migrating grazing animals, wind, fire, and so on, can lead to wilder and more robust nature intertwined with human habitation, agriculture, industry and forestry.
To rule out human presence in the landscape is obviously impossible in large parts of Europe, so we need to focus our efforts on maintaining, restoring and (re)creating robust and resilient nature, capable of coping with the increasing pressure of human population, water and land use and climate change. Wild and robust nature side-to-side with human activities will prove to be an invaluable tool to mitigate the consequences of climate change and to halt the loss of biodiversity.
Since most existing efforts are situated in remote and deserted areas, six partners from five European countries explore the potential of allowing, restoring and supporting natural processes in a man-made utilised landscape, such as our European agricultural and urbanised landscapes:
- Belgium: Natuurinvest (coordinator) and Natuur en Bos have been working on issues in relation to public perception with predators in densely populated areas.
- The Netherlands: ARK Nature has been pioneering rewilding approaches in one of the most densely populated countries in the world for many decades.
- Sweden: Fjällbete has been working on holistic regenerative agriculture.
- Sweden: Pro Natura has been involved in wood pasture restoration and different solutions for areas that lack grazing animals.
- Romania: Milvus Group has been focusing locally on individual species’ initiatives.
- United Kingdom: Knepp Estate has a large rewilding project in a very intensively managed agricultural landscape.
Co-funded by the Erasmus+-Programme of the European Union, we will be looking for succesful cases and investigate their driving forces. By applying those to different European landscapes, we will develop guidelines for succesful implementation in new areas in Europe, thus multiplying the scale and potential impact of wild and robust nature, intertwined with human activity.