Search

WildE, science for a climate-smart rewilding in Europe

WildE focuses on smart rewilding from a climate point of view, to stimulate the natural capacity of ecosystems to adapt to global change and to reverse the consequent loss of biodiversity. Image: La Cerdanya, D. Cardenete.
WildE focuses on smart rewilding from a climate point of view, to stimulate the natural capacity of ecosystems to adapt to global change and to reverse the consequent loss of biodiversity. Image: La Cerdanya, D. Cardenete.

The recent research project WildE in which CREAF is involved focuses on making rewilding in Europe climate-smart. It is therefore proposed that this action should stimulate the natural capacity of ecosystems to adapt to climate change and support the consequent loss of biodiversity. Rewilding is a nature-based solution that envisages, for example, eradicating invasive species, creating corridors to connect nature reserves, or generating crossing points for wildlife, among many other actions. WildE’s approach is innovative and seeks to generate climate benefits while addressing other socio-environmental needs.

WildE involves a multidisciplinary team of European experts to develop a research and innovation programme that addresses the climate-biodiversity nexus, in close association with the socio-economic dimension of large-scale restoration. The team also plans to project future scenarios of changing soil uses due to climate change, to assess the potential for rewilding in Europe.

CREAF researchers Lluís Brotons and Josep Maria Espelta are part of the team of this ambitious project, which is coordinated by Arndt Hampe from INRAE and funded by Horizon2020. Lluís Brotons, also a researcher at CSIC, assures that “with WildE we want to reinforce the importance of natural processes as a cheap and effective management tool to recover the functionality of ecosystems”. In a complementary way, Josep Maria Espelta explains that the ultimate goal is to develop tangible and easily accessible proposals to support management: “we will develop state-of-the-art projections on land use and future climate scenarios and, at the same time, we will assess how smart reforestation strategies can contribute to achieving the EU’s climate neutrality and biodiversity protection targets for 2050″.

Lluis Brotons

“We want to reinforce the importance of natural processes as a cheap and effective management tool to recover ecosystems’  functionality”

LLUÍS BROTONS, researcher at CREAF who takes part in the WildE project.

Project coordinator, INRAE research director Arndt Hampe, says that “the holistic approach to ecosystem and landscape restoration takes into account climate, economic and social challenges to develop economically viable nature-based solutions”.

Addressing the climate-biodiversity nexus

The specific objectives of WildE are generating comprehensive comparative data on trends and outcomes of renaturalisation in Europe; to quantify the net social, economic and environmental benefits, synergies and trade-offs related to renaturalisation and versus other land uses; developing advanced projections of future land use and climate scenarios in Europe, and to develop management and support guidelines that enable decision-makers, conservation management and the private sector to jointly design strategies to meet EU objectives.

“We will assess how smart reforestation strategies can contribute to achieving the EU’s climate neutrality and biodiversity protection goals by 2050”

JOSEP M. ESPELTA, researcher at CREAF and participant in the WildE project.

The context for WildE is the European Union’s target to reduce net carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2050, as expressed in the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030. This can only be achieved if carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems is increased and, in turn, other co-benefits such as biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and socio-economic and cultural safeguarding are promoted. Intergovernmental organisations such as the IPCC and IPBES have emphasised the great potential of ecosystem restoration by applying nature-based solutions to address this challenge.

Related articles

Credit: Kalen Emsley, unsplash.
News @en
Anna Ramon

CREAF attends the Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, COP15

It will do so thanks to a CREAF delegation teamed up with Alícia Pérez-Porro, CREAF scientific coordinator, Lluís Brotons, CSIC researcher at CREAF, and CREAF researchers Sergi Herrando and Daniel Villero, all of them will be in Canada from 9 to 16 December.

Knowledge
Angela Justamante

What is IPBES?

iodiversity loss is undeniable, but at what rate? Why? How does it affect us? And what can we do? The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has been answering these questions since its creation in 2012.

We've changed the wordpress version If you prefer to read this news in Spanish or Catalan from 2020 to 2012, go to the front page of the blog, change the language with the selector in the upper menu and look for the news in the magnifying glass bar.

Subscribe to our Newsletter to get the lastest CREAF news.