Guiding principles for rewilding

Carver, Steve, Convery, Ian ORCID logo ORCID: , Hawkins, Sally ORCID logo ORCID: , Beyers, Rene, Eagle, Adam, Kun, Zoltan, Van Maanen, Erwin, Cao, Yue, Fisher, Mark, Edwards, Stephen R., Nelson, Cara, Gann, George D., Shurter, Steve, Aguilar, Karina, Andrade, Angela, Ripple, Bill, Davis, John, Sinclair, Anthony, Bekoff, Marc, Noss, Reed, Foreman, Dave, Pettersson, Hanna, Root‐Bernstein, Meredith, Svenning, Jens‐Christian, Taylor, Peter, Wynne‐Jones, Sophie, Featherstone, Alan Watson, Fløjgaard, Camilla, Stanley‐Price, Mark, Navarro, Laetitia M., Aykroyd, Toby, Parfitt, Alison and Soulé, Michael (2021) Guiding principles for rewilding. Conservation Biology, 35 (6). pp. 1882-1893.

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There has been much recent interest in the concept of rewilding as a tool for nature conservation, but also confusion over the idea, which has in turn limited its utility. We outline a unified definition and a series of ten guiding principles for rewilding, drawing on a global advisory group of rewilding experts. These were developed through a survey of 59 rewilding pioneers, a summary of key organisations' rewilding visions, and academic/practitioner workshops involving over 100 participants from around the world. The resulting principles are intended to clarify the concept of rewilding and to improve its effectiveness as a tool to achieve global conservation targets including actions of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. As such we note the potential contribution of other related conservation approaches such as the IUCN CEM NbS programme. The guiding principles developed here state implicitly that rewilding sits upon a continuum of scale, connectivity, and level of human influence, and aims to restore ecosystem structure and functions to achieve a self-sustaining autonomous nature. We suggest that differences in rewilding perspectives lie largely in the extent to which this is seen as achievable, and ultimately, in those interventions which are necessary, feasible or acceptable. An understanding of the contextual setting of rewilding projects is often the key to success, and careful site-specific interpretations will be most successful at achieving the aims of rewilding. Article impact statement: Rewilding is on a continuum of scale, connectivity, and human influence and aims to restore ecosystems to achieve self-sustaining nature.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Conservation Biology
Publisher: Wiley / Society for Conservation Biology
ISSN: 0888-8892
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Forestry and Conservation
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2021 09:30
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 12:16


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