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Prospex Institute for


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WILDCARD: Effects of Rewilding in Forests and Agricultural Lands on Carbon Seqestration and Diversity

Starting in January 2024, WILDCARD is, for the first time, systematically assessing the impacts of two major rewilding approaches on carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation at the European scale. Currently, a lack of comprehensive research on the topic prevents rewilding from being fully integrated into Europe’s strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

WILDCARD mainly focuses on two aspects of rewilding: proforestation (halting forest management to allow for spontaneous forest development) and natural rewilding following agricultural land abandonment. Both are low-cost approaches that let nature do the job of restoring ecosystems.


Running until 2027 with an EU budget of €8,9 million and a Swiss contribution of €1,2 million, WILDCARD combines field observations, remote sensing (e.g. Lidar data) and computer simulations of shifts in vegetation cover with economic, societal, and political analyses. The goal is to identify hotspots of rewilding in future climate and land use scenarios, as well as their overall impact at multiple time scales.

With an interdisciplinary approach and cross-country collaboration between 16 partners, the project will investigate regulatory, cultural and economic barriers to rewilding, while also identifying social innovation mechanisms, models and incentives to foster its adoption and social acceptability.


Prospex Institute's Role


Prospex Institute will bring together citizens and stakeholders to explore local views on rewilding, identify factors that could impact each individual’s perception and co-create mechanisms for continued dialogue to provide local stakeholders with the opportunity to keep engaging on the issues addressed in the project.


This process will focus mainly on developing trust in the community and will build on several local engagement activities.

In parallel to the local engagement process, PI will coordinate a European level engagement process to provide an open space for discussion, cooperation and knowledge exchange through the WILDCARD Rewilding Forum.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under Grant Agreement No. 101081177

Our Mission

Decisions for society need to be taken in consultation & participation with those affected by it.


Prospex Institute helps to make this happen. We promote the participation of citizens & stakeholders in dialogue & decision-making processes of relevance for society.

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