Stepwise approach to join the European Wilderness Preservation System

 The European Wilderness Society Quality System

The European Wilderness Society (EWS) sets the framework for  identifying, designating, promoting and managing European Wilderness within the structure of the European Wilderness Preservation System (EWPS).

In order to reach the ambitious target of designating 5% of Europe’s landmass as wilderness, the European Wilderness Society always works together with local partners.

Protected areas with the ambition to join the European Wilderness Preservation System have to proof an excellence in management, conservation and restoration of European wilderness.

 Who will be subject to the EWS quality audit?

Any European protected areas with wilderness are welcome to join the European Wilderness Preservation Sustem. The areas have to go through the wilderness audit process to be listed as a member of the European Wilderness Preservation System.

Two categories – one objective!

There are two European Wilderness Preservation System categories for protected areas wanting to join:

Wilderness Partners (WP) are the areas with basically smaller areas of existing wilderness meeting some criteria of our EWS Wilderness Quality Standard, Principle 1: Wilderness values

Wilderness Destinations (WD) are the areas with larger areas wilderness meeting most criteria of our EWS Wilderness Quality Standard, Principle 1. Wilderness values, Principle 2. Management effectiveness and Principle 3. Visitor and Tourism Management.

 To become a fully validated member of the European Wilderness Preservation System a EWS audit will be done after applying to become either a Wilderness Partner or Wilderness Destination. The audit Will result in a Wilderness Action Plan to prove any shortcomings and the quality of the wilderness area in particular. A re-audit every 5 years will check the progress against the baseline defined in the Wilderness Action Plan.

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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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