Our mantra is simple: we want more wilderness in Europe, which is translated into a goal: we want 2% of Europe protected according to wilderness principle by 2020. Germany has pledged this objective already, Austria is already taken steps to achieve this as well.  The 2% will be added through strict protection of existing wilderness and through promoting the restoration of natural processes. But is there enough space to restore wilderness in Europe?!

Some say this is a far too ambitious goal, but when you see how much land we waste in Europe for abandoned construction projects, one should reconsider opposing our 5% target. There are several arguments for 5% wilderness. This post covers only one of them: 6+1 projects where we trashed our natural habitats (likely forever) in Europe!

1. Tópark project

  • Location: Törökbálint, Hungary
  • Size of habitat destroyed: 180 hectares
  • Investment: 1 billion EUR planned
  • Biogeographical region where we lost natural habitat: Pannonian
  • More information is here (in Hungarian)

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2. Abandoned housing projects in the Mediterranean islands

  • Location: various in Rhodes and Crete
  • Size of habitat destroyed: unknown but likely few 100s hectares
  • Investment: unknown but likely millions of EUR
  • Biogeographical region where we lost natural habitat: Mediterranean
  • More information is here (thanks for Patrick van Dam for photo documenting)

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3. Tourism development projects

  • Location: Tenerife, Spain
  • Size of habitat destroyed: unknown but likely 100s of hectares
  • Investment: unknown but likely billions of EUR
  • Biogeographical region where we lost natural habitat: Macaronesian
  • More information is here

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4. Dadipark abandoned amusement park

  • Location: Dadizele, Belgium
  • Size of habitat destroyed: 50 hectares
  • Investment: unknown
  • Biogeographical region where we lost natural habitat: Atlantic
  • More information is here

dadipark

5. Canfranc Railway Station

  • Location: Pyrenees mountains, Spain
  • Size of habitat destroyed: several 100s of hectares
  • Investment: unknown but current value would likely be billions of EUR
  • Biogeographical region where we lost natural habitat: Alpine
  • More information is here

canfranc

6. Samsung manufacturing plant

  • Location: Göd, Hungary
  • Size of habitat destroyed: 300 hectares
  • Investment: unknown but likely millions of EUR
  • Biogeographical region where we lost natural habitat: Pannonian
  • More information about the closure of the factory is here (in English)

samsung_ceg

+1. Old Burns centre (unfinished hospital complex in Ukraine)

  • This unfortunate example shows that natural habitats are not only lost within the European Union!
  • Location: Kiev, Ukraine
  • Size of habitat destroyed: unknown
  • More information is here

Urban-Exploration-Urbex-Photography-Abandoned-Hospital-Burns-Ward-Kiev-Ukraine-Eastern-Europe-5

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About Author

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

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