Wilder nature provides new business opportunities and new jobs – this is one of our driving forces when we create collaborations in northern Sweden. The magnificent nature can provide unique experiences that we think more people would enjoy. At the same time, jobs are being created in nature tourism and other sectors.
The wild and stunning nature in northern Sweden can provide income in sparsely populated areas and together with partners in Sweden and other countries we looked into opportunities in the far north. Its beautiful rivers, forests and wildlife are an economic resource. Protected nature and other areas with high nature values are assets and not obstacles to local development.
At Rewilding Sweden we want to show that rewilding can generate new business opportunities, jobs and income. By building this ‘business case for the wild’, we can provide new opportunities for rural livelihoods – which are now often associated with limited options, declining economies and rural depopulation.
Together with local entrepreneurs, we want to ensure that rewilding creates opportunities in sparsely populated areas. Not least, young people need to be able to stay in – or return to – the countryside. With funding from the EU’s regional development funds through an Interreg North project on Wildlife Economy, ideas for new businesses and activities based on restored rivers and forests have been developed. Proposals for concrete activities will be developed together with partners to seek additional funding.
Forest rewilding and the restoration of peatlands in northern Sweden represents a major opportunity to reduce emissions from intensively managed forests and drained peat, and ultimately make rewilded landscapes long-term carbon sinks. Restoration also allows biodiversity to return, creating important habitats for animals and plants, and improving water quality for migratory fish and other species. These changes will also contribute to climate change adaptation by increasing forest resilience to drought, disease, and fire, buffering river flows against droughts and absorbing floods. Rewilding Sweden is exploring how to pilot and scale-up such opportunities to contribute to the rural economy and people’s livelihoods.
Wilder nature offers new opportunities for people, and through collaboration with entrepreneurs and networking with other countries, much more can be done!