Nature-based economies

There are economic opportunities in rewilding. The increasing global popularity of nature-based tourism demonstrates this potential. Helping nature heal can lead to prosperous economies.


Nature-based economies

There are economic opportunities in rewilding. The increasing global popularity of nature-based tourism demonstrates this potential. Helping nature heal can lead to prosperous economies.

People can benefit from nature

Staffan Widstrand

Restoring nature, bringing back wildlife and rewilding can bring economic benefits, generate new business opportunities, jobs and income. Nature has the power to generate income. By building this ‘business case for the wild’, we can provide new opportunities for rural economies – which are now often associated with declining economic productivity, rural depopulation and land abandonment.

Dynamic and contemporary wildlife and nature-based businesses can benefit local societies that are more closely tied to natural environments.In the Danube Delta we focus our efforts on a few pilot nature-based tourism locations, and we also plan to support and promote some local natural products.

Nature-based tourism

Nature tourism around the world is booming. And at a time when biodiversity is in decline, wildlife watching is on the up.
People want to see animals and birds in the wild – from hides, with the help of guides, for photography. The Danube Delta has a wide range of attractive species on offer for wildlife watching and photography – from a huge variety of bird species, such as pelicans, owls, herons and egrets, to reintroduced large grazers such as Tauros, water buffalo and wild horses.

Three nature-based tourism locations in Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta will be created or supported on the basis of previously restored ecosystems, such as wetlands or steppe. We will support the development of nature-based tourism infrastructure, such as watchtowers, hides and eco-trails, and will also promote these locations in order to attract national and international tourists.

Eco-park Kartal

The eco-park is located in the upper part of the Ukrainian Danube Delta, near the picturesque Kartal Lake and associated wetlands. It was created in the summer of 2017 by the local community of Orlovka, together with NGO “Centre of Regional Studies”. Visiting Eco-park Kartal you can experience beautiful wetland landscapes, a diverse range of water birds, as well as the main attraction of the location – friendly water buffalo, brought here from the Carpathians 2 years ago.

Eco-park Tarutino

Eco-park Tarutino will be created on the restored and conserved territories of the unique Tarutino Steppe, located in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. The creation of the eco-park is supported by local community of Veselaya Dolina and by local ethno and nature-based businesses. Visitors will have a chance to visit the last preserved steppe areas of the region, with a diverse flora and fauna including red deer, kulan and demoiselle cranes.

Ermakov Island

Ermakov Island is located in the lower part of the Danube Delta near the town of Vilkovo. It was restored to a natural state in 2009 by WWF, becoming one of the most biodiverse parts of the Danube Biosphere Reserve. Hundreds of pelicans, swans, ducks, herons and other water birds breed and feed on the island. During a tour of this natural paradise you will also meet water buffalo and wild konik horses, grazing on the island from 2019 as part of our project.

Magnus Lundgren/Rewilding Europe

Local eco-products

The restored nature of the Danube Delta also supplies local communities with high quality commodities and products that are highly valued in national and international markets. You can savour delta honey, gathered by local bees from water flowers on the banks of the river. You will taste fragrant local tea from Danube herbs. You will definitely like bessarabian brynza – sort of feta cheese produced from sheep’s milk as well as great local wines.

We aim to support local producers and promote their delicious and unique natural products to a wider market, ensuring income to local communities. It is essential for local people to understand the beauty and value of their region, to see that wild healthy nature can bring benefits and enhance resources, as opposed to extensive agriculture, which destroys natural capital.

Our main achievements

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