Planetary Guardians Manifesto

Copenhagen, October 2019.

Our goal as Planetary Guardians is to build a global community of rewilders that connect and support each other creating more space for wild nature on Earth. By rewilding we mean letting natural processes shape ecosystems and landscapes with a minimum interference while protecting biodiversity and the species.

Everyone can be a rewilder. As grassroots, we can inspire and help each other caring for nature. We can rewild our own backyards, our cities and our local communities, and we can engage in large-scale rewilding projects. As PGs we find friends all over the planet and talk about the practical steps of rewilding.

The planet Earth needs it. Nature is rapidly deteriorating worldwide. 1 million species face extinction, forests are turned into farmland, coral reefs die out, oceans suffer from overfishing and pollution, wetlands are almost gone, and local biodiversity is rapidly disappearing everywhere. We need to give back to nature and create more space for protected wild nature on land and in the oceans.

Rewilding is a natural climate solution, and a key answer to the climate crisis. Greening and rewilding our planet bind carbon dioxide and improve the quality of air, soil and water, and cushions us against the effects of climate change. When we care for wild nature, the regeneration of natural ecosystems will improve the resilience and health of our cities and our local communities. Research shows, that natural climate solutions can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed globally between now and 2030 to stabilize warming to below 2 °C.

As Planetary Guardians, we share our love for wild nature. When we report from nature, we inspire others, and we build support for our own projects. To care for something, you need to know about it. Paradoxically, most people live in cities at a point in time where nature is on the brink of collapse, and positive experiences with nature could stimulate to activism. As PG-activists, we document and share experiences from ‘the rewilding frontier’ and invite people to join our rewilding activities.

The PG-community is diverse and inclusive. Some groups emerge around habitats, some groups focus on rewilding efforts to protect particular species, and some groups work to improve framework conditions for rewilding projects at local, national and international levels. Our ambition is to set up PG-groups in all countries, and build a global bottom-up community of rewilders and conservationists.

We build strength-by-numbers. With the PG social platform, we carry out global petitions for local projects, and use the global rewilding alliance to support local rewilding initiatives and protect existing wild nature.

We learn from local communities that live off the land in balance with wild nature. Their sustainable economic practices guide us, and the PG-community builds a global marketplace for products and services that do not undermine but strengthen biodiversity and allow local communities to flourish.

The Planetary Guardians social platform is run by a for-profit, open-source and social impact enterprise. 90 per cent of profits generated by the platform are distributed amongst active PGs and agencies working to rewild and protect the species.

We believe in co-creating scientific knowledge with academia. Rewilding actions are guided by and contribute to scientific evidence on biodiversity. We partner with research communities to disseminate state-of-the-art scientific knowledge on biodiversity and rewilding. And we tailor this knowledge when we as a community of practitioners discuss and improve our rewilding projects. We work to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (13, 14, 15) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

To sum up; our vision is to create more space for wild nature on Earth. Our mission is to build a global community of Planetary Guardians who work to protect the species and rewild the planet.

1) Griscom, B. et al, 2017: ‘Natural Climate Solutions’, PNAS 114 (44) 11645-11650. https://www.pnas.org/content/114/44/11645, p. 11645