Ukrainian Wilderness advocate Roman Cherepanyn recently shared with us a short list of arguments why Wilderness is in Europe so important. Let’s learn and think about this:

Wilderness is extremely rare in Europe. It has an extremely positive impact on human society. Because of this, it is very important to identify and protect European Wilderness.Roman states that:

  • Wilderness first of all is providing a wide spectrum of an important benefits for the human society.
  • Wilderness areas provide an unique habitats and so have an important role to protect populations or rare species and ecosystem diversity.
  • Wilderness is a unique example of spontaneous natural process with many components and interactions. Such places are usually rich in rare, endemic and relict species.
  • Wilderness and particularly old-growth forest has an important role to prevent climate change and to conserve water resources. For example, we can observe an important role of dead wood for carbon sequestration
  • Wilderness is often the basis and motivation for the creation of protected areas which play an important role for the society.
  • Wilderness and protected areas have a positive impact on the socio-economic development of the regions. For example,  development of tourism in these territories and adjacent areas.
  • Wilderness is very important for educational and interpretation. Promotion of information about the wilderness contributes development of society in a sustainable way.
  • Wilderness and wildlife is also the motivation and base to build up the ecological network at regional, national and European levels.

It is important to understand how we can protect wilderness. First of all it is necessary to proceed working on expanding the area of Wilderness in existing and newly created protected areas. To support this process it is important to develop funding mechanism such as a nature-reserve fund and to convince private and institutional donors to provide funds.

Also it is necessary to create transboundary protected areas and also to implement non-intervention management in the old-growth forest ecosystems.

The European Wilderness Network is an important mechanism to protect biodiversity and contribute to the conservation of natural habitats and species and enabling their reproduction.

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About Author

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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