German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Wilderness Promotion by means of Local Valorisation: The Example of the Stettiner Haff region (preliminary study)

Funding priority

Safeguarding biotopes: Conserving, restoring and interconnecting valuable habitats


Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania


November 2013 - October 2014 (preliminary study)

Brief description

Compared with wilderness areas elsewhere in Europe, the Stettiner Haff region is characterised by an unusually diverse and valuable stock of natural resources - both in terms of its habitats and its species.

In a testing and development (T&D) project conducted on the German side of the Stettiner Haff, methodologies and instruments for economic valorisation of natural and, more particularly, wilderness areas are to be developed and tested for use as a model for best-practice replication.

Based on existing and yet-to-be-developed rewilding areas, the preliminary study will be used to identify the conditions needed for best-practice implementation of measures in a main project phase.

The findings of these pilots will then be used to achieve locally-accepted expansion of wilderness areas by exploiting the associated local income potential.

For the purposes of the project, wilderness areas are defined as areas in which agricultural land use forms have long been abandoned and, as a result, nature can develop undisturbed by human activity and intervention. This does not, therefore, exclude the active establishment of populations of wild animal species which previously inhabited the area - given, that is, that those populations are not subsequently managed on a permanent basis.

Through the development of wilderness experience offerings, income is to be generated for land owners to allow them to cease agricultural use of their land and in turn allow new rewilding areas to be developed.

The Stettiner Haff is to be developed into a model region in which the local population can enjoy the direct economic benefits to be had from the new wilderness areas. This should increase acceptance and raise both land owners'  and land users' awareness to wilderness development as a viable alternative to traditional land use forms. Although the project is limited to the German side of the Haff, it is closely linked to a similar activity on the Polish side.

Entity responsible for the project

Deutsche Umwelthilfe
Hackescher Markt 4
10178 Berlin

Liaison at BfN

Martina Porzelt, FG II 2.3

Project funding agencies

German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Deutsche Umwelthilfe

Grant amount


Last Change: 30/06/2014