Dutch lottery grant boosts wildlife comeback in Europe

The Dutch Postcode Lottery has awarded Rewilding Europe a special grant of 2.2 million euros for the European Wildlife Comeback Fund.

Rewilding Europe’s European Wildlife Comeback Fund was launched in September 2022 to scale up the reintroduction and population reinforcement of key species across Europe. In 2023, 16 translocations involving 13 wildlife species in nine European countries were supported by the fund, within and outside Rewilding Europe’s (rewilding) landscapes.

Through their interactions with other species, and the landscapes where they are present, all wildlife species contribute to the health, balance, resilience, and functionality of nature. Large, free-roaming herbivores such as European bison and wild horses promote biodiversity through their natural grazing, for example, while vulture species help to dispose of carcasses. Restoring wildlife populations also has the potential to increase the absorption and storage of atmospheric carbon, thereby helping to mitigate the scale of climate change.

The Dutch Postcode Lottery has granted the European Wildlife Comeback Fund 2.2 million euros, which comes on top of annual grants made by the lottery to Rewilding Europe. Together with 2.8 million euros already secured from other donors, the new grant takes the budget of the fund for the period 2022 – 2026 to 5 million euros, meaning a significant financial target has now been reached.

“This new grant, for which we are hugely grateful, will increase the number of initiatives that the European Wildlife Comeback Fund can support, and potentially the amount of funding provided to each one,” says Rewilding Europe’s Rewilding Manager, Sophie Monsarrat. “This, in turn, will enable the release of more animals, accelerate the creation of viable wildlife populations, and deliver wide-ranging benefits to both nature and people across Europe.”