Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv)

Promoting and shaping the EU restoration agenda, including TEN-G, through mobilisation of rewilding principles to create a coherent Ecological Network in Europe

1 January 2017 – 31 December 2019

Habitat loss is a major barrier to biodiversity conservation in the EU and to achieving the goals of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Water Framework Directive. Restoring and maintaining large and interconnected areas of high quality habitat such as wetlands and floodplains is therefore of utmost importance for the conservation of nature in Europe in the years to come.

Implementing both the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, and achieving a good ecological status of waters under the Water Framework Directive, will require large-scale ecological restoration in the EU. However, progress so far has been disappointing: none of the 28 EU Member States has presented an adequate plan to restore 15% of their degraded ecosystems, in spite of their commitment under the EU Biodiversity Strategy to develop such plans.

This initiative aims to strengthen the EU ecological restoration agenda. The project is being implemented by a coalition of five organisations, covering scientific, practical and policy expertise: iDiv - German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Rewilding Europe, WWF European Policy Office, BirdLife Europe and European Environmental Bureau.

We seek to find opportunities for rewilding European landscapes in alignment with European policies on green infrastructure, ecosystem services and restoration targets. The ultimate goal of the project is that by 2019, specific actions are taken by the EU Commission to create a coherent Ecological Network in Europe and incorporate rewilding principles in large-scale conservation policy. 

We envision ‘rewilding’ as a multifaceted concept with three broad dimensions that interact with each other: 1) restoring and giving space to natural processes, 2) reconnecting wild(er) nature with the modern economy, and 3) responding to and shaping of cosmopolitan perceptions of nature conservation among the European society.

The role of iDiv will be to conduct research on how rewilding principles can help to restore biodiversity at a European level, as well as develop a case for a strong trans European Green Infrastructure Initiative (TEN-G) to achieve the 15% Restoration target of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Water Framework Directive good ecological status objectives. Panels composed by multidisciplinary teams of scientists, practitioners and policy officers from across Europe will work together to pursue this research.

This project receives funding from WWF Netherlands.

Contact: Dr. Néstor Fernandez

Boosting Ecological Restoration for a Wilder Europe
Néstor Fernández, Aurora Torres, Florian Wolf, Laura Quintero and Henrique M. Pereira
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
1. Aufl. 2020
Format: 21,0 x 29,7 cm
Umfang: 17 S.
ISBN 978-3-9817938-5-7

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