What do rewilding and art have in common?
Today, Rewilding Europe and the Artists for Nature Foundation have officially started cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. Both organization have identified synergies and complementarities between their vision, mission and activities and have agreed to explore working together. Combining art and rewilding – at a first glance this maybe an unexpected connection, but if one looks in more detail it is evident and inspiring.
The signing ceremony took place in the atelier of one of the artist’s members Piet Eggen, along the river Reest in Drenthe, the Netherlands. This beautiful lowland river has still much of it’s original character and has been rewilded, to restore the hydrological processes and improve its connectivity between different nature reserves. An ideal setting for starting this partnership.
Rewilding Europe, established in 2011, is a unique, European non-profit organization registered in the Netherlands that promotes a new conservation vision for Europe, with more space for natural processes, wilderness and wildlife, where people can earn a fair living from the wild.
Rewilding Europe currently works in eight (8), but ultimately 10 rewilding landscapes across Europe that will become showcases of such new vision, showing practical and meaningful results for the return of wild nature and wildlife, developing nature-based economies based on this, create a new pride in wild nature and inspire other initiatives across the continent to adopt Rewilding Europe’s vision and approach.
-- ‘’I strongly believe that effective nature conservation must go hand in hand with environmental education’’, says Ysbrand Brouwers, CEO of Artists for Nature Foundation. ‘’To reconnect people with the area in which they live we start with the next generation. The Rewilding Europe areas give our artists an ideal platform to work with local children, their parents and teachers’’.
-- ‘’The unique approach of ANF is of great interest to our initiative and our partners in the rewilding areas across Europe’’, says Frans Schepers, Managing Director of Rewilding Europe. ‘’The the artists’ enthusiasm and their artwork create a lot of positive vibe and pride among local people, who often don’t realise how special their area and its wildlife are’’.
The core of the partnership between the two organisations is to have ANF projects taking place in all the rewilding landscapes in the Rewilding Europe portfolio). A first pilot is planned for 2016 in Rewilding Europe’s newest rewilding landscape, the Oder Delta. Fundraising efforts are taking place for all the other rewilding areas in Europe as well.