Last month, the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) organised the event “Coexisting with Large Carnivores – Challenges and Solutions” in the European Parliament in Brussels. The President of the Parliament’s Intergroup on ‘Biodiversity, Hunting and Rural Areas’, Mr. Karl-Heinz Florenz, hosted the event.
Several speakers presented their opinions in favour of killing wolves in Europe. Daniel Heindl, from the Lower Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, said: “We do not need, nor want the wolf.” According to Mr. Heindl, the wolf’s presence endangers traditional grazing and pastoral farming.
Other speakers argued for an open dialogue to discuss alternative solutions. Dr. Nicola Notary, Head of the Unit Nature Protection of DG Environment, encouraged discussions with stakeholders, farmers, hunters and institutions. Luis Suarez, WWF Spain, showed how coexistence is possible with proper preventive measures. MEP Stefan Bernhard Eck, parliamentary colleague of chairman Florenz supported the pro-wolf statements that were made from the attending European Commissioner during the event.
Agreement to participate in the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores
FACE signed together with the CIC (International Council for Game and WIldlife Conservation) CIC, COPA-COGECA (European Farmers and European Agri-cooperaties Assisociation) the Finnish and Swedish Reindeer herders Association, the ELO (European Landowner Organization), IUCN, WWF and Europarc the Agreement to participate in the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores with the following objectives:
- Working within the EU legal framework: The EU’s Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) is the overarching legal instrumentfor the conservation and sustainable management of Large Carnivorespecies at afavourable conservation status in the EU.
- Ensuring the necessary knowledge base: Any management of large carnivores must be determined on the basis of sound scientific evidence using best available and reliable data.
- Recognition of socio-economic and cultural considerations and concerns: Human societies have the right to use their natural resources and preserve cultural heritage in a sustainable way within multifunctional landscapes, of which large carnivores are an integral part. The contribution of economic activities to the values of those landscapes has to be recognised. The need to ensure public safety should also be recognised.
- Solutions to conflicts through constructive dialogue among stakeholders: Finding solutions arising from conflicts with large carnivores and facilitating human-large carnivore coexistence is best achieved through constructive dialogue among key stakeholders at local, national and EU levels. These solutions should be adapted to local and regional conditions.
- Engagement in trans-boundary cooperation: The vast majority of the populations of large carnivore species in the EU have ranges that cross national borders. Therefore national solutions will not work in isolation without meaningful stakeholder dialogue involving trans-boundary cooperation within the EU, and where appropriate, with neighbouring countries, taking into account, inter alia, the Guidelines for Population Level Management Plans for Large Carnivores.
Please also read these recent studies and scientific results on the return of the wolves to Europe.
- Scientists published a study that shows that herd management is more effective than killing wolves.
- The Swiss Forest Department of Graubünden stated the positive effect of wolves on the rejuvenation of protective forest stands in Switzerland.
- The economical impact of wolves is limited as statistics from Germany showed the costs of wolves, which is a fraction compared to damages from other wildlife species.
- Our poster on the potential role of the wolf in Europe’s nature, shows how wolves can restore nature’s balance in Europe.