REWILDING MAY PLAY KEY ROLE IN FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

One of Europe’s biggest experiments in rewilding is taking place at the Grand Barry nature reserve in southeast France.The chirp of cicadas ripples through the pine forest, carried along on the same breeze as the scent of lavender and wild thyme – with nearly no trace of man.The Grand Barry nature reserve in France’s southeastern corner is undertaking one of Europe’s largest experiments in rewilding.At a time when reforestation projects – planting new trees – are growing in popularity, rewilding aims to let nature do the work by simply leaving ecosystems alone to recover, free from human influence.According to the United Nation’s biodiversity panel IPBES, at least three-quarters of all land on Earth has been degraded by human activity.As humankind’s insatiable demand for food and materials expands, more than one million species of wild animals and plants are at risk of extinction, many within decades, the UN says.Remi Gandy, president of the Drome hunting federation, said that rewilding poses a risk to “traditional economic and recreational activities”, such as fishing and shooting.Although he’s not against the idea in theory, he argues it would take “thousands of hectares” to achieve meaningful results.In another of its reserves near the Rhone river, ASPAS says signs forbidding hunting have been torn down and placed next to shotgun cartridges on the ground.Yet, rewilding supporters are undeterred.”The idea of many people in Europe is that nature needs people, or nature needs management,” says Pereira.”It’s nonsense because biodiversity has been here before humans and will be here after humans disappear.”Kun is more succinct on the need of allowing nature its own space.”We are not God,” he says.

NATURE-BASED ECONOMY

Although there are plenty of national parks with protective measures in place, France still has only a handful of reserves where human influence is minimal.For Frans Schepers, managing director at Rewilding Europe, other reserves should consider rewilding, not just from an ecological but also an economic point of view.His organisation has eight such projects in countries including Portugal, Romania and Sweden, and it assists locals with start-up loans and marketing.”Many of those regions suffer from rural depopulation, a lack of entrepreneurial attitude,” says Schepers.So any area interested in rewilding should consider how it can help create a “new identity and pride for that region”, he adds.Remi Gandy, president of the Drome hunting federation, said that rewilding poses a risk to “traditional economic and recreational activities”, such as fishing and shooting.Although he’s not against the idea in theory, he argues it would take “thousands of hectares” to achieve meaningful results.In another of its reserves near the Rhone river, ASPAS says signs forbidding hunting have been torn down and placed next to shotgun cartridges on the ground.Yet, rewilding supporters are undeterred.”The idea of many people in Europe is that nature needs people, or nature needs management,” says Pereira.”It’s nonsense because biodiversity has been here before humans and will be here after humans disappear.”Kun is more succinct on the need of allowing nature its own space.”We are not God,” he says.

Published by Sima Sarkar

I am Anjan.I am a freelancer.I am trying to write day to day human issues.I want to highlight issues related to 'Mother Earth' as well.

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