Eight projects will provide a powerful demonstration of nature’s powers of recovery, and of the benefits to be won from restoring biodiversity and natural ecosystem processes to Europe’s landscapes.
The Endangered Landscapes Programme was officially launched last Thursday evening, with the announcement of eight new projects which will be supported and funded by the Programme.
The Programme has been established thanks to a US$30 million investment from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
Returning predatory sandbar sharks and Mediterranean monk seals to the seas off the coast of Turkey; creating opportunities for key species such as wolf, moose, European bison and greater spotted eagle to move more freely in the vast ‘Prypiat Polesia’ area of Belarus and Ukraine; aiding the recovery of ravaged forests and establishing one of Europe’s largest wilderness areas in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania; restoring Caledonian pinewoods to some of the UK’s most spectacular landscapes in the Scottish Highlands… these are just some examples of what the Endangered Landscapes Programme (ELP) hopes to achieve.
These projects introduce an exciting vision for the future, in which Europe’s landscapes are enriched with biodiversity, establishing resilient, more self-sustaining ecosystems that benefit both nature and people.
On Thursday 4th October, the projects were announced at an event that took place at the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Zoology by Professor Sir John Lawton, author of the seminal report ‘Making Space for Nature’, and chair of the ELP’s Oversight and Selection Panel.
At the launch, Sir John said about the programme’s power to transform the conservation narrative:
We need to stop thinking about protected areas as isolated units in the landscape – we need to approach conservation at a landscape-scale if we are really going to make a difference.
Lisbet Rausing, co-founder of the Arcadia Fund, reflected on what had inspired her to initiate and fund the Endangered Landscapes Programme:
Landscape-scale restoration ecology works. Nature is out there: waiting. Let’s invite her back in […] Together we will restore and rewild, and thus protect, Europe – our home, our continent, our love.
You can find all of the speeches from the evening here.
To read more about individual projects, please visit the Endangered Landscapes Programme website.