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Fighting for Nature Conservation in Europe: Get involved!

During the last couple of weeks and months, we visited many Wilderness all across Europe. Considering that the European Wilderness Movement only started 20 years ago, we have come a long way. My colleagues together with hundreds of Wilderness advocates managed to not only come up with a European Wilderness Definition and Quality Standard, but also convinced more than 25 protected areas to focus on non-intervention management. The auditing of these areas started in 2004 and all of them have not only made excellent progress in rewilding and restoration of their bufferzones but also were able to let natural processes govern the Wilderness zones (or as some call it core zones).

Vlado´s recent trip to many Wilderness areas in the Baltic and Finland confirmed this. The management teams of these areas deserved a big thank you for their dedication. Many were and are subject to economic and social pressures to intervene in the areas, but they resisted to the benefit of not only the flora and fauna but for the next generation of Europeans.

Wilderness is the only place left where evolution happens as nature intended. It is last stand against our less then perfect interference into the natural processes which are responsible that humans even exist. We are after all the result of evolution and we have an obligation to enable nature to continue to evolve. The real question is whether we are able to evolve as well to adapt our way of living to protect the very nature that nurtures us.

Looking at the recent discussion about wolves, I have some doubts. Not for once do we discuss the importance of the return of the wolf to the ecosystem whose equilibrium we destroyed successfully with the advent of industrialization. We are barely able to manage with constant interference and millions and billions of Euros to keep it from total collapse. Instead the discussion is only focusing on killing, trapping and exterminating the only animals able to restore Europe´s natural balance of our ecosystems. We are doing that, because we are too lazy and not willing to change our lifestyle a tiny bit to allow nature to be self-willed again. We think we can continue to destroy nature like we did the last few centuries and are then surprised that we are faced with climate overheating, a constant loss of biodiversity, a dying of insects, a loss of birds, floods, hurricanes and other devastating natural catastrophes.

What is more stunning that the majority of us is not objecting to these ignorant voices from yesterday and are not fighting for our future. There are not enough demonstrations against Trumps ignorance of climate overheating, there is not enough of a public outcry against killing and trapping the wolf in Europe, too few people oppose the logging of our last Old Growth Forests! Let me be clear, Nature Conservation Organizations are doing a great job but they are too few to fight the constant onslaught against the very nature we need to survive as a species.

I am therefore appealing to all of us to do more. Sign petitions, visit with your kids the natural wonders, take a public stand against the ridiculous demands to exterminate the wolf, assist the Wilderness management team in protecting our heritage and future, get personally involved with a local or regional or national nature conservation organization, demonstrate with your vote for more nature protection.

Lets get Wild

Max A E Rossberg

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