Rewilding: An introduction to a practice and new vision for the planet

Most of our planet’s lands and seas have been vastly modified by humans, creating a world where climate change creates havoc within nature and human society; generates heat waves on land and in the sea; pushes the earth towards catastrophic ecological tipping points; and drives the extinction of species and the destruction of their critical role in ecology and human health. We need new, bold and positive solutions.

We must stay below a 1.5°C rise in average global temperature. Rewilding provides the most powerful nature-based climate solutions that remove from the atmosphere the surplus carbon generated by humans, and that rebuild natural resilience against floods, droughts, wildfires and other threats.

Rewilding repairs broken ecological systems and thereby enhances species survival and reduces the threat of the 6th mass extinction. Rewilding even reduces the risks of zoonotic pandemics.

Rewilding is about reversing the cycle of destruction and creating a virtuous cycle that unites biodiversity, health and climate by giving nature a helping hand and giving it space to restore and manage itself. Nature is our ally to overcome some of today’s most pressing ecological and socio-economic challenges. We need rewilding!


Rewilding means helping nature heal itself. It is about conserving the most intact remaining, natural places on Earth at the same time as recovering the life-supporting functions of nature in connected land-and seascapes. It is about restoring the web of life, from cities to the wildest places on the planet, by taking the long-term view, and embracing natural solutions to environmental, social and economic challenges.

  • Rewilding is about thinking creatively and shaping new opportunities for local livelihoods and the wider economy anchored in a more secure future with healthy nature and much higher climate resilience.
  • Rewilding is also about the way we think. It is about understanding that we are one species among many, bound together in an intricate web of life that ties us to the atmosphere, the weather, the tide, the soils, the freshwater, the oceans, and all living creatures on the planet.
  • Rewilding is about learning from the ecological and human history to shape the future, where nature again is allowed to form our ecological foundation.
  • Rewilding is the recognition that human health is inextricably linked to ecological health.
  • Rewilding is about the comeback of sea otters, bisons, tapirs, whales, sharks, wolves, salmons, seed dispersing macaws and spider monkeys, and countless other species that shape our web of life and help to regulate the climate.
  • Rewilding is about ecological justice and our relationship with nature.
  • Rewilding is about positive change and creating a future in which both nature and people thrive.

Produced by the secretariat of the Global Rewilding Alliance (GRA), supported by the WILD Foundation and Global Wildlife Conservation. The GRA is a network of rewilding practitioners and messengers based on the Global Charter for Rewilding the Earth (a product of planning for the 11th World Wilderness Congress, 2020). Special thanks goes to Magnus Sylvén and Karl Wagner. 

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