The Bear Smart Community Genzana hosts the European Rewilding Network gathering

October 30, 2021

For a week the Central Apennines become the inspirational scenario for numerous European organizations that deal with rewilding and want to grow and work together.


Training session with the Rewilding Apennines team.
Vittorio Pomante

From November 1st to 5th Rewilding Europe and Rewilding Apennines organize the first meeting in person of the European Rewilding Network at Pettorano sul Gizio, thanks to the availability and collaboration of the Municipality, the Monte Genzana Alto Gizio Nature Reserve and the Soc. Coop. Valleluna.

The participants will be 36 from 12 different European nations and for the first time will meet each other to discuss about the rewilding practices. These practices can take on specific connotations and implications based on the environmental and cultural characteristics of the different countries in which they are applied.

Removal of abandoned barbed wire in the mountain in the Central Apennines.
Bruno D'Amicis

The rewilding, which is a complex word without a letteral translation in Italian, encloses many themes such as the biodiversity protection and the commitment to spread it, the ecosystems restoration, the enhancement of the natural processes so that lead the resilient evolution of an environment, the encouragement of people to positively perceive the wild nature comeback, to benefit from it and to develop sustainable and nature-based enterprise initiatives.

During the 4 days of work there will be a mutual exchange of experiences amongst the participants through presentations and interactive exercises, the experimenting of new solutions for the benefits of both nature and local communities, moments of inspiration with rewilding activities carried out together in the field, here in the Central Apennines, and the search of creative ways to make the rewilding movement in Europe grow. There will also be occasions of fun and entertainment aimed at fostering interpersonal relationships and strengthening the feeling of an experience never achieved so far, in the Bear Smart Community Genzana.

The themes will be faced and deepened in five modules: connecting rewilding science and practice; making the ecosystems always more self-sustainable by reducing the human interventions; wildlife comeback and the coexistence: the Central Apennines as a study case; communicating rewilding as the21st century environmental narrative; economic opportunities emerging from rewilding.

Rewilding Europe established the European Rewilding Network in 2013 with the aim to create an international platform for exchanging ideas, know-how and experiences, as well as a “place” for a constructive dialog about the rewilding practices in Europe. Nowadays, the network is made of 75 initiatives, amongst entities, organizations and rewilding projects, that operates in 27 European countries! Amongst these there are even some Italian organizations which Rewilding Apennines is in touch with.

The European Rewilding Network experience at Pettorano wants to be even an important opportunity for the local community of cultural growth, exchange and economic benefit, because the participants in the international event will reside in widespread hospitality accommodations with which owners Rewilding Apennines has undertaken a relationship of mutual collaboration and trust. The wish is that the Bear Smart Community Genzana will be a destination of initiatives like this always more, as a demonstration that the rewilding and the man-wildlife coexistence might guarantee concrete benefits and opportunities for the local development.

The scenic Piazza Zannelli at Pettorano sul Gizio.
Angela Tavone