Photo © Peter Cairns / Wild Wonders of Europe
As part of the planning for WILD11 (11th World Wilderness Congress), our many collaborators worked with us to create the Global Charter for Rewilding the Earth which is the foundation for the Global Rewilding Alliance that is now an official PARTNER of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. WILD will act as secretariat and facilitator of this Global Rewilding Alliance.
As of November 2020, the newly formed Global Rewilding Alliance consists of 101 Practitioner and Messenger organizations: Africa 11, Asia 17, Australia 5, Europe 24, Latin America 16, North America 13, and Global 15. Collectively these organizations work with more than 3,200 partners consisting of local communities, landowners, Indigenous Peoples, land trusts, NGOs, governments, corporations, institutions, philanthropists, private banks, and multinational development banks. Alliance members represent some of the world’s largest ecosystem conservation and restoration initiatives.
Alliance Member Locations
Alliance members represent some of the world’s largest ecosystem conservation and restoration initiatives.
Numerous organizations work at scale with national governments and local communities. The Peace Parks Foundation initiative in Southern Africa aims to create eighteen transfrontier, economically viable conservation areas covering a total of 10 million hectares in 17 countries that provide new sustainable livelihood opportunities for one million people. Currently, eight have already been established, four are emerging, and six are still in the concept phase (incl. the Western Indian Ocean transfrontier marine park). African Parks’ goal by the end of 2020 is to establish 20 ecologically, socially and financially sustainable national parks across the continent, contributing economic development and poverty alleviation. Currently included are 19 national parks in 11 countries, covering a total area of 14.2 million hectares. Wilderness Foundation Africa has on-the-ground management and counter-poaching initiatives covering up to 500,000 ha of private and public protected areas in South Africa. The Mali Elephant Project is a community-based, community lead initiative involving 15 ethnicities that protect all natural resources in an area the size of Switzerland and has currently achieved agreement from the government to formally expand Mali’s protected area system by 26%, an increase of 350,000 ha.
The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) brings people and organizations together to protect, connect and restore healthy habitats over 3,600km, from western Victoria through NSW and the ACT to far north Queensland. Its goal is to connect people and maintain and restore natural landscapes (flyways, “glideways” & ecological stepping stones), implement natural solutions (forest recovery & climate corridors), recreate resilient landscapes, and establish ecological levers for human health (e.g. reducing the risk of virus spill-over in degraded landscapes). In 2019/2020 19 million hectares were affected by wildfires in Australia with a concentration in the GER region, which requires urgent restoration and prevention efforts in the coming years. The fires released more carbon dioxide than all of Australia does in a year. Since 1991, Bush Heritage Australia has worked on large-scale landscape restoration projects across the continent covering more than 11.3 million hectares through engaging aboriginal communities, applying best knowledge conservation science, fire management, buying land, legal protection, restoring waterways, removing feral species, and erosion and weed control.
The Wildlife Conservation Trust in India has developed a tool for restoring large-scale landscapes covering millions of hectares across the country. Through a combination of GIS and field studies (e.g. radio telemetry of tigers), maps are created showing how ecological corridors can be recreated to protect the well-being of both people and wildlife. These maps will be able to guide policy and developments at local, regional and national levels, like planning of roads, railways, power lines and canals.
In eight pilot areas covering an area of more than 4 million hectares in different parts of the European Continent, Rewilding Europe implements different rewilding projects including reintroducing keystone species, restoring waterways and wetlands, establishing wildlife corridors, and supporting local entrepreneurship. In addition, the organization facilitates a capacity building and experience sharing initiative – European Rewilding Network – involving 58 rewilding initiatives in 26 countries covering 5 million hectares of land and water.
In Argentina and Chile, Tompkins Conservation has for over two decades supported the creation of new national parks through land trusts and other means covering an area of more than 1.3 million hectares (3.3 million acres), restored degraded land, reintroduced missing wildlife, implemented ecological agriculture, invested in the development of local communities, and supported leading-edge activism. In Brazil, the Yawanawa Tribe stewards 250,000 hectares of primary forest and grassland. The Instituto Araguaia de Protecao Ambiental together with partners aims at protecting the 4 million hectare Bananal-Araguaia Ecological Corridor at the heart of Brazil where the Pantanal, the Amazon and the Cerrado meet, including the largest freshwater island in the world (the 2 million hectare Ilha do Bananal), home to 20 native Karaja-Javaé and Ava-Kanoero Indian reserves.
The Yellowstone to Yukon initiative stretches 2,000 miles (3,200-kilometers) from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems to Canada’s Yukon, spanning five American states, two Canadian provinces, two Canadian territories, and the traditional territories of at least 75 Indigenous groups. The Wyoming Wilderness Association aims at defending 3.2 million hectares of wild, roadless lands and safeguard their future of which 445,000 hectares have already been protected.
The following five initiatives have a significant track record of achievements and magnification:
WILDERNESS FOUNDATION GLOBAL
Founded by three organizations from Africa, Europe and North America the WFG focuses on two pillars: World Wilderness Congress (WWC) and the Wilderness Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. With its 45 years history of accomplishments across every continent, the WWC is the longest-running, international, environmental forum linking governments, international and national cultural and scientific organizations, grassroots initiatives, Indigenous and global leaders to share lessons and identify new, innovative solutions. Among its achievements was initiating in 1984 the process leading to the creation of the Global Environmental Facility in 1992, the global conservation vision Nature Needs Half in 2009, and – in 2020 – the Global Charter for Rewilding the Earth. Each of the founding organizations has a strong track record in working on the ground, implementing conservation in practice.
NATURE NEEDS HALF
NNH is an international coalition of scientists, conservationists, nonprofits, and public officials defending nature at the scale needed for nature to continue functioning for the benefit of all life including human well-being. Focused on movement-building, through its 43 partners in 20 countries the NNH coalition shares practical, inspiring examples of large-scale conservation initiatives across the globe, develops and communicates new science advancements, purchases and protects key biodiversity areas, and undertakes active advocacy at national and international levels.
This youth initiative has a six-year history of producing knowledge and capacity-building initiatives, delivering mentorship programs, and building communities in 107 countries to more than 1,100 emerging leaders, and manages UNEPs Young Heroes of the Earth program.
GLOBAL WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Over the past ten years, GWC has worked to conserve wildlife and habitats in more than 50 countries and has helped establish over 30 protected areas, home to more than 150 endangered species, impacting over 20,000 species.
IUCN TASK FORCE ON REWILDING
Focused on policy, this task force is developing long-range practitioner’s guidelines so that practical rewilding has a basis of common knowledge, method, and technique.