12 May 2023 Article Community

Rewilding the landscape: the mission of the Rewilding Southwest Association

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"Transforming a landscape into a wilder state through actions that promote renaturalization" - this is what rewilding means.

And Rewilding Southwest is the name of the new association that was born in Aljezur. But why rewilding in the Southwest of Portugal? That’s what the association RWSW will explain to us in this article.

The Southwest of Portugal is characterized by exceptional and unique biodiversity, an idyllic coastline, and is generally a low-density population area. At the same time, this territory is characterized by many relatively large properties that allow the persistence of extensive forests of native species.

Considering the potential contribution of the Southwest of Portugal in the fight against climate change, this region remains a biodiversity hot-spot where the industry is practically non-existent, with the exception of the agro-industry which has been putting many of these values at risk in recent years, especially on the Alentejo coast.

The resident population has different conditions and constraints than the populations of large cities, with difficulties of access to public transport, public services, etc.

What can be done in the Southwest?

In this low-density population region, most people live in their own homes and many of them have land with several hectares. Considering that the land itself can be one of the means of contributing to the fight against climate change, this region has enormous potential.

In these situations, the concept of rewilding can offer an interesting and functional response. Rewilding implies allowing more ecological processes to develop in a particular location. According to recent studies, allowing nature to act on its own behalf allows the landscape to become more natural, more biodiverse, and to develop greater resilience to climate change, while promoting its carbon retention capabilities. Thus, an increase in the social and well-being services that these areas can offer is also achieved. It is easy to conclude that the results are an added value for everyone. It is important, then, to preserve and promote this biodiversity. By acting as a rewilder, biodiversity is allowed to establish itself naturally and for free.

A more diverse landscape, rich in biodiversity, also provides an attractiveness that is increasingly sought after by tourists from all over the world. This region of Portugal has become a perfect example of how sustainable nature tourism is becoming increasingly wanted, thus assuming a huge positive economic impact for the region. Those who seek this type of landscape for their holidays are looking for beautiful landscapes and nature, particularly the natural landscape!

Rewilding can be the opportunity for many of the owners in the Southwest of Portugal to contribute actively to the fight against climate change and to seek a more sustainable future.

The RWSW Rewilding Southwest association seeks to combat biodiversity loss and address climate change through the use of rewilding methods, thus favoring the development of the region’s native forests that are in a climactic natural state.

Why become a member of RWSW Rewilding Southwest?

Fighting biodiversity loss!

The SW of Portugal is a well-known biodiversity hotspot. In the Rewilding Southwest association, we gather all efforts to maintain and preserve biodiversity in the region and with it the natural beauty of the Costa Vicentina. Nature needs you!

Fighting climate changes

The Southwest of Portugal offers ideal conditions for the growth of native forests. The RWSW Rewilding Southwest association argues that native forests are the right answer for the Southwest of Portugal to face climate change, as CO2 sinks, barriers to forest fires, oxygen production, and in maintaining biodiversity. In this context, the owners of large estates in the Southwest of Portugal can play an important role in providing a huge range of ecosystem services. Your participation counts!

More native forests are needed!

To face the challenges ahead, we need to preserve and expand natural forests, these are the great poles of biodiversity and the largest CO2 sinks. That is, we need more native forests, capable of performing these roles in their full functionality, ensuring our future in the Southwest.

Join to RWSW!

The RWSW Rewilding Southwest association offers a diverse monthly program of actions, such as volunteering, guided tours, seminars, and workshops. In addition, it provides and shares scientific knowledge about the forest and its management, while supporting its members in the rewilding processes.

The most emblematic projects of the Rewilding Southwest Association (RWSW):

The pictures are from a rewilding project, in this case an ecological restoration of an abandoned pine forest, developed by the Pro Nativa team on a land owned by two members of RWSW. This group of young “rewilders” shares members in common with RWSW, particularly Jack Golds, a founding member of both. The photos were taken by Pedro Galvão, a member of Pro Nativa and a professional photographer known as My Smooth Vision (Instagram).


Rewilding Sudoeste

A RWSW Rewilding Sudoeste – Associação de desenvolvimento da natureza e ambiente é uma associação sem fins lucrativos, constituída no ano de 2021, em Aljezur.

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