European Union Projects
Project duration: 
Jan 2023 to Dec 2026

wildE's goal is to develop the knowledge needed for a "climately intelligent renaturalisation" in Europe, as a solution based on nature that stimulates the natural capacity of European ecosystems for climate change mitigation, adaptation and support for biodiversity.


The European Union aims to reduce net carbon emissions by 55% in 2030, and become climate neutral by 2050. These  goals can only be met if it boosts carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems, preferably while fostering socio-environmental  co-benefits such as conserving biodiversity, adapting to climate change, and safeguarding socio-economic and cultural  values. Both the IPCC and the IPBES have emphasised the great potential of ecosystem restoration and related naturebased solutions (NbS) for addressing the challenge. 

wildE introduces ‘climate-smart rewilding’ as an innovative restoration approach to create climate benefits while also  addressing other socio-environmental needs. The project gathers a multi-disciplinary team of leading European experts  to develop a research and innovation programme addressing the climate-biodiversity nexus in tight association with the  socio-economic dimension of large-scale restoration. The team will also project scenarios to assess Europe’s rewilding  potentials under diverse land-use and climate change futures. 

wildE will (i) generate comprehensive case-comparative data on European rewilding trends and outcomes, (ii) quantify  the net social, economic and environmental benefits, synergies and trade-offs related to rewilding and alternative landuse  options; (iii) develop cutting-edge projections for future land use and climate scenarios; and (iv) develop tangible  and readily accessible decision-support and management guidelines to enable policymakers, conservation managers,  communities, and the private sector to co-construct climate-smart rewilding strategies as effective NbS for meeting  the EU’s climate and biodiversity targets.