Wilderness Stewardship Planning Guideline

Wilderness Stewardship Planning Guideline

The objective of all Wilderness areas in the European Wilderness Network is to shift from Wilderness management to Wilderness stewardship. In order to do this, each Wilderness area should develop a Wilderness Stewardship Planning Guideline. A Wilderness stewardship plan provides direction and guideline for the Wilderness stewards to make decisions regarding the future use and long-term protection of the Wilderness. The European Wilderness Society has published a Guideline for Wilderness stewards to develop a Wilderness Stewardship Plan.

A holistic approach to protecting Wilderness Stewardship Planning

Wilderness stewardship planning is a holistic, long-term approach to Wilderness management. Here Wilderness stewards first determine whether there is the need for any management action before implementing an action plan. The essence of Wilderness stewardship is non-intervention management. For Wilderness stewards and protected area managers this means deciding to keep their hands off in order to enable nature and its dynamic processes to happen and evolve freely and undisturbed.

A translation of the term “stewardship” to several European languages is not always possible and can lead to different interpretations of the term. Therefore, it is recommended to use the universal english term Wilderness Stewardship in all management documents.

Zonation of Wilderness

Zonation is also a critically important aspect of the Wilderness Stewardship Planning, and can be used as a tool to identify priorities for protecting Wilderness. A thought out zonation system is considered to be one of the most efficient tools for enabling the dynamisms of natural dynamic processes in Wilderness.

  • The Wilderness zone is the heart of every Wilderness. Here, no human intervention happens and natural dynamic processes govern.
  • The purpose of the Restoration zone is restoration and expansion of the Wilderness zone.
  • The Transition zone acts as a buffer between the Wilderness and the surrounding areas.

This three-folded structure offers best protection of key Wilderness principles. At the same time it offers potential for future expansion of the Wilderness, and flexible interaction with zoning or other land uses already in place.

Continuous monitoring

Continuous monitoring of the Wilderness quality and Wilderness Stewardship is essential to adequately direct necessary stewardship measures. Therefore, every European Wilderness Network Partner should provide a short, biennial Wilderness Update Report. This Guidebook we are now publishing gives the Wilderness stewards an overview of the developments of their Wilderness. The basis of the report is a SWOT-analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

Wilderness Stewardship Planning Guideline

You can read and download the Wilderness Stewardship Planning Guideline below:

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