‘The term biodiversity (from the phrase “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life’
Biodiversity is needed as we rely on different ecosystems to provide water, food and medicine. If one species becomes extinct, this often creates a collateral affect on other species, increasing the loss of biodiversity within different ecosystems.
Without these intricate ecosystems human societies could not exist. The different benefits which we draw from these ecosystems is known as ecosystem services.
Due to the increase in the human population and deforestation, biodiversity is at a rapid decline, meaning different species are set to become extinct in unprecedented numbers and the ecosystems we rely on are starting to disappear.
However, one solution to the rapid loss of biodiversity is rewilding nature.
‘Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation. It’s about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes. Through rewilding, wildlife’s natural rhythms create wilder, more biodiverse habitats’
This definition provides a broad overview of rewilding, however different types of rewilding also exist.
Passive rewilding: Aims to reduce human interference by letting nature take its course and thrive on its own
Pleistocene rewilding: During the Pleistocene era, a mass extinction of megafauna occurred. Some believe this left an imbalance to our ecosystems, this approach suggests including non-native species into different ecosystems to restore a balance of different species.
Translocation rewilding: A proactive approach which reintroduces species which were previously lost from certain ecosystems, with the goal of restoring areas to a state of previous wellbeing.
Rewilding not only applies to rural areas but also to urban landscapes as well. The benefits of green urban areas can be made possible by increasing the number of forests and parks in cities as well as reduced pesticides and harmful management. Allowing for a more environmentally friendly landscape has also led to some interesting developments, such as those currently underway in Singapore.