Results from the ongoing GrazeLIFE project demonstrate that natural forests, complete with naturally occurring populations of free-roaming herbivores, can boost biodiversity and reduce the scale and impact of climate change. The EU should take account of this in all relevant strategy and policy going forwards.
Restoring natural areas to their healthy and varied state lead to benefits that are not to be underestimated. Other than holding more water, preventing soil erosion, and creating a habitat for wildlife, wild and varied grasslands has a natural way of storing and sequestering CO2 (carbon dioxide). What if curbing our emissions would not only mean to give up and hand in, but actually lead to the highly visual and experiential restoration and protection of European wilderness?
Imagine a magnificent wild stallion crossing a shallow, braided river, using natural gravel beds as stepping stones – it’s hard to think of a more spectacular Dutch wildlife experience. Today this phenomenon can be witnessed regularly when hiking the restored floodplains of the River Meuse on the Belgian-Dutch border.
One of the main topics of the GRAZELIFE-project is prevention of wildfire damage by large herbivores. While we are examining this issue in the European context, we can already take advantage of experiences in other parts of the world. Below the case of wild horses as a natural fire brigade in the US.