Rewilding represents a new viewpoint on nature conservation, reaching beyond to bring a more functional vision and moving into notions of rural development and reconnecting people with nature and wildness. The concept originated in North America in the nineties and has been growing and developing in Europe since 2010.
Rewilding Iberia aims to assist rewilding in its development from theory to practice in Spain and to help extend its application to the whole of the north Mediterranean basin.
The book combines academic rigour with readability, offering a complete survey of the implications of rewilding as a tool to complement the current paradigm for nature conservation, improving also its contribution to rural development.
In this context, Spain’s situation is something of a paradox: on one hand the country is home to the greatest biodiversity in Europe, while on the other, the Spanish conservation movement (both scientists and activists) is trapped in the paradigm of traditional use as a synonym of conservation. This makes it difficult to envision future alternative scenarios for protected areas, and hampers efforts to restore wildlife populations and, especially, ecosystem functionality.
The book analyses the main natural processes that have been significantly altered by human activity and establishes the tenets of rewilding as a strategy for the active restoration of their function wherever possible. This is achieved by examining the origin and significance of this new perspective for conservation, by exploring its possibilities in the Spanish geographic context, and by analysing the factors affecting its application in a given area.
After discussing its allure and potential for Spain, the book describes the techniques and policies that might assist the development of rewilding, and develops some specific case studies that contribute to a better understanding of the impact and scope it could attain.