While the overwhelming scientific consensus is that humanity is facing a climate crisis, biodiversity is also declining across the world at unprecedented rates. The 2020 Living Planet Index for example recorded a decline of 68% in average species population abundance, since 1970. Humankind’s responsibility to restore biodiversity goes beyond ethics as the continued loss of vital ecosystems and species erodes the very foundations of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide. Among the remedial actions to the current biodiversity crisis under consideration, the concept of rewilding has emerged as a promising, ubiquitous strategy to enhance biodiversity, ecological resilience, and ecosystem service delivery.

Our Rewilding Working Group (RWG) has been set up by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2021, following the adoption of a resolution calling for the establishment of an inter-disciplinary and cross-Commission working group to develop a clear definition and understanding of rewilding, as well as parameters and guidelines for applying rewilding approaches. This resolution moreover mandates the rewilding group to produce an evidence-based IUCN Policy on rewilding, to be submitted to the IUCN Council for endorsement. This website aims to report on the RWG progress, providing a transparent platform for engagement.

Our working group involves diverse representatives from the IUCN Commissions (including relevant thematic Specialist Groups), the IUCN membership, the Commission on Ecosystem Management Rewilding Thematic Group and experts in marine and terrestrial conservation, ecosystem dynamics, conflict mediation, social psychology, environmental law, veterinary sciences, genetics, tourism, urban ecology and sustainability. It regularly connects with a consultation group, gathering stakeholders and experts interested in rewilding discussion. The terms of reference for the RWG can be found here. If you are interested in joining our consultation group, please contact us here.