Revisiting Leopold report

The Revisiting Leopold report has recently been featured in the IUCN’s Parks Journal. A whole magazine dedicated to launch a new report, which might shape the future of protected area management, GLOBALLY!

Why is this important for us? It is worth reading the new IUCN publication, the Parks Journal as it outlines some new tactics how wildlife and protected areas might be managed – or we should rather say guarded or preserved – globally. There is an interesting article presenting a potential European view from Rauno Vaisanen, who is the head of the Finish Natural Heritage Service (aka Metsahallitus). Mr. Vaisanen felt there was something missing from the report:

“…the approach dealing with the prioritization and the optimal allocation of the limited human and monetary resources for scientific research and resource management.”

However from the perspective of the European Wilderness Society, there are very important highlights in the publication. Let’s quote them with a short explanation to the implications in Europe:

“The National Park System should become the core element of a national (and with international collaboration, continental and oceanic) network of lands and waters proposed above”

How this could be translated to Europe? Wilderness areas should become the core element of a continental system to protect habitats, spaces and species! There is a need for the European Wilderness Network.

“The NPS should make as its central resource policy the stewardship of park resources to preserve ecological integrity and cultural and historical authenticity, provide transformative visitor experiences, and manage the National Park System as the core of a national conservation network of connected lands and waters.”

The word STEWARDSHIP is crucial in this sentence. We think that rather then talking about non-intervention or wilderness management, our Society should rather speak about wilderness stewardship in the European Wilderness Network! We are stewards (or guardians) and NOT managers (or gardeners) in wilderness.


Vlado Vancura

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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One thought on “Revisiting Leopold report

  1. Thanks, Zoltan, for sharing this! I support your idea that, as a standard approach, wilderness needs stewards but not managers (though management may still be needed in various areas).

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