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Rewilding as an approach to large landscape restoration has been gaining substantial traction. We describe it as the process of restoring native ecosystems, following major human disturbance, to create a complete food web at all trophic levels as a sustainable and resilient ecosystem using biota that would have been present had the disturbance not occurred. Rewilding can be seen on a continuum of ecological restoration towards increased ecosystem integrity and autonomy and reduced human impact and intervention. It is complementary to other conservation approaches, such as protection and community conservation, which so far have failed to stop the continuous decline of species and degradation of nature. Rewilding has an important social dimension, engaging communities in the restoration of “wild” nature and providing hope for healthier ecosystems. The IUCN CEM Task Force on Rewilding consults with a broad community of experts and practitioners and aims to provide IUCN with a clear understanding of rewilding and a link to CEM priority areas. So far, the task force conducted a systematic review of the literature, developed initial guiding principles and performed a survey of rewilding pioneers. Two workshops in the US and Europe were held with academics, advocates, and rewilding practitioners. The workshops highlighted similarities and differences between the two continents in the ecological and human aspects of rewilding. A set of principles emerged as part of an ongoing development. The next steps aim to broaden the expertise and geographic scope and more workshops are planned in 2019 (online) and early 2020 (India).
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Society for Ecological Restoration