Founding of the new Rewilding Taskforce under IUCN (CEM)

The Rewilding Foundation in consortium with the University of Cumbria and Wildland Research Institute/University of Leeds has been instrumental in the establishment of a Rewilding Taskforce (RTF) under the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), with its formal inception in spring of 2019.

The task force’s goal is to synthesise and streamline the theory and practice of rewilding through a sharing of experience within the wider (and growing) rewilding community. The aim is to develop a more unified and cohesive rewilding approach that is both science-based and community-focused. The task force will explore ecological restoration in terms of a wildness continuum approach with an outcome of becoming increasingly ‘nature-led’. It will move beyond a simple structural biodiversity approach to ecosystems and instead recognise the dynamic nature of the biodiversity of biological processes.

The taskforce is building on the original North American and scientifically underpinned vision of rewilding based on the Connected Cores with Carnivores (three C’s) concept as well a renewed vision of applying an ecological continuum for rewilding (see figure below) on on various scales and taylored to different situations.

Current task involves the making of IUCN Rewilding guidelines and the mainstreaming of rewilding as a new ecological conservation challenge in science, society and policy.

Rewilding continuum (Van Maanen & Convery 2017)