Frans Schepers

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"Frans Schepers is Managing Director and one of the founders of Rewilding Europe. He graduated in forestry, land – and water management in 1985 after which he took various positions in nature conservation, starting in Dutch government, working on a large river restoration project (Border Meuse), reshaping 50 km of river landscape. From 2000-2014, he worked at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in The Netherlands, responsible for international programmes, with a focus on Southern Africa, Europe and Eurasia.

"During his professional career, which now spans over 30 years, he specialised in developing conservation strategies, freshwater and species conservation, ecological networks, protected areas and rewilding approaches. His special interest is in rewilding landscapes, where nature can bounce back through ecological processes, wildlife comes back and where people can enjoy and benefit.

"As the Managing Director of Rewilding Europe since 2011, he is leading a team of now 15 people based in eight different European countries. Currently, eight large rewilding initiatives are operational in seven countries who have the potential to become rewilding icons for Europe, where wild nature with abundant wildlife provides new socio- economic opportunities. Under his leadership, Rewilding Europe has initiated four new, innovative initiatives: Rewilding Europe Capital (Europe’s first conservation enterprise loan facility), European Wildlife Bank (a lending facility for large herbivores), European Safari Company (a business to support nature-based tourism) and the European Rewilding Network (with now 50 members in 25 different countries).

"Frans Schepers is a keen birdwatcher and has travelled to numerous countries around the world, including bird expeditions to the Mediterranean, Middle East and West Africa. Having travelled in Africa a lot, he is still very connected, in particular to Zambia, a country he loves and where he is a Trustee of the Zambian Carnivore Programme." [1]