New IUCN Task Force on Rewilding established
As the momentum of rewilding gathers pace, IUCN has set up the Rewilding Task Force to provide a framework of supporting principles and scientific standards.
This will have a global remit, but with specific relevance to Europe as the number of projects multiplies, and with it the variety of interpretations.
Chaired jointly by Ian Convery from the University of Cumbria and Steve Carver of the Wildland Research Institute, its initial two year work plan involves collecting inputs from a range of organisations to develop a working definition, accompanied by guiding principles and a series of case studies to collate existing experience.
At the heart of the initiative will be the application of ecological restoration within the context a ‘continuum of wildness’, with heavily modified landscapes at one end, ranging through progressively purer naturalism to wilderness at the other.
Rewilding involves scale, naturalness and integrity of habitat and process. It can bring powerful environmental, social and economic benefit. But it also has – and requires – strong cultural, philosophical and spiritual roots that are often overlooked.