Over time, human activities have led to / accelerated the degradation of the natural environment on which us and other species depend. According to a recent research, over 75% of the world's land surface has been significantly altered by humans since the industrial revolution, and over 85% of wetlands have been destroyed - this is partly why more than one billion plant and animal species are currently threatened with extinction (see the WWF's 2020 Living Planet report for more information).
Although no panacea, land conservation and enhancement activities are crucial to slowing and hopefully reversing these trends - like sustainable forestry, regenerative agriculture, peatland restoration, and more. Highlands Rewilding aims to implement many of these activities. The business will own and sustainably manage land in the Scottish Highlands implementing a range of activities, including afforestation and sustainable forestry (planting new trees and replacing old ones), regenerative agriculture (lots of small-scale sustainable farming activities), eco-tourism and eco-building (renting land sustainably for a variety of purposes and selling a small number of eco-homes). The business model will largely rely on a mixture of 'ecosystem services' - this is payments for carbon and biodiversity credits, and also more traditional services (eco-tourism, for example). The vision is to prove that this business model can be sustainable and to show larger investors that natural capital investing can generate a decent risk-adjusted return over time whilst having significant positive environmental impact.