European Wilderness Society overachieved its objectives in 2015 and has great plans for 2016!
Wilderness in Europe is successfully identified, certified and advocated by the European Wilderness Society who defined internationally a unique Wilderness Quality Standard Audit System which already certified wilderness in Austria, Germany and the Ukraine.
Wilderness is not only in nature, it is in our minds as well. And this is even more important: Wilderness does not need only protection, it needs first of all advocates – People who see, feel and know the value and importance of wilderness for their life.
Therefore the European Wilderness Society, placed in lovely Austria, with active team members all over Europe ensures wilderness is not only certified by its Standards, it also ensures, that people all over the world are well-informed about Europe’s wilderness.
The objectives for 2016 include the completion of the Erasmus+ Project on defining a wilderness curriculum for Managers of protected areas. In addition, the European Wilderness Society has won a project for introducing wilderness into the curriculum of 30 secondary schools in Austria. The unique Wilderness Academy Days will be held in 2016 in Turkey, a region with great wilderness potential.
Three more potential wildernesses have inquired about certification under the European Wilderness Quality Standard and Audit System. In addition, we will increase our involvement with the European Beech Forest Network to protect Europe´s last virgin forests. The European Wilderness Society is also directly engaged in the Sustainable Tourism Strategy of the Carpathian Convention and will ensure that tourism and wilderness do not contradict each other.
These objectives require a team of well-trained professionals and we are happy to announce that an January 1 Iryna Shchoka and Mariana Matsko joined our full time staff to head the international fund-raising department and to provide project support for our international team. Vlado Vancura will take on the position as Deputy Chairman since Zoltan Kun has decided to join a Hungarian environmental Consultancy full-time. We are thankful for all the work Zoltan has done for the European Wilderness Movement during the last decades and wish him all the best for his new career.
To achieve these objectives, we are embedded in a wide network of partners and are supported by friends and sponsors. We are extremely grateful for this support.