Oder Delta (Esmée van der Ven)

Project Aims

The research project REWILD_DE takes up the socio-ecological concept of rewilding and examines how rewilding can be sensibly implemented in a relatively densely populated and intensively used cultural landscape in Germany using the example of the only rewilding model area in Germany, the Oder Delta, various questions from ecology, (regional) economics, and social sciences will be addressed:

  • What possibilities does rewilding in its various forms offer for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity? For example, through the restoration of watercourses and the management of areas with naturally fluctuating water levels, or through natural grazing approaches.
  • How has the landscape in the study area changed in the past, and what changes can be expected in the future when rewilding measures are implemented?
  • What regional economic opportunities and other societal benefits (so-called "ecosystem services") are provided by rewilding? What landscape characteristics are important for nature-based tourism?
  • How do local people perceive their landscape? How do they perceive changes towards greater naturalness? How can rewilding be successfully implemented with the meaningful involvement of local people?
  • And finally, what role can rewilding play as a complement to other approaches to biodiversity and nature conservation in Germany?
The aim of the project is to provide scientific answers to these questions and to develop practical solutions. Over the course of three years, the project will analyse the conditions under which biodiversity and ecosystem services can be enhanced through rewilding, resulting in benefits for the people in the Stettiner Haff region. This instrumental perspective will be complemented by the development of a "rewilding dialogue" with the local population. Through artistic approaches and public outreach, the project aims to facilitate an understanding of the guiding principles and promote an appreciation for the intangible values of nature. Within the framework of so-called "Rewilding Pathways", implementation processes will be developed and tested in the study area.