wildE: A European project to assess ecological restoration through rewilding

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology led by prof. Ing. Miroslav Svoboda, Ph.D. is the co-investigator of this important project.

Terrestrial ecosystems throughout Europe face the twin threats of climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Rewilding could be an important ecological restoration solution to mitigate negative effects. The rewilding approach proposes to "let nature (re)take care of itself" (often with temporary help at first) and benefit from natural processes to adapt ecosystems to climate change and support their biodiversity. The wildE project aims to assess and improve the potential of climate-smart rewilding as a nature-based solution for ecological restoration in Europe.

This multidisciplinary research and innovation programme will address the link between climate and biodiversity in close association with the socio-economic dimension of large-scale restoration. It compares scenarios from various land uses, assesses associated risks and opportunities, and explores new approaches to make ecological restoration a socially and economically viable solution for local actors and communities. wildE will provide scientific knowledge, methods and tools for different geographical, ecological and social contexts, based on Europe-wide studies as well as individual case studies.

The aim of the project is to help policy makers (the EU, national governments, regions, local communities) and commercial companies to integrate ecological restoration through rewilding into their policy or management, to achieve carbon neutrality, strengthen climate adaptation and reverse biodiversity loss.

These results will be widely communicated to a broad range of stakeholders (land owners, conservation managers, companies, society at large, etc.) to improve everyone's knowledge of these challenges and opportunities. This interactive sharing will be made possible in particular through a collaborative web platform, which will also function as a shared workspace for stakeholders.

wildE is supported by a team of 22 academic and non-academic partners (NGOs, companies, etc.) from 12 European countries under the coordination of Arndt Hampe, INRAE (France).

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