The year 2020 was an unexpected and wild year for many of us. A year that has been characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also where a lot of other things happened. Great things, that have supported the work of the European Wilderness Society and its Wilderness Advocates around the world. A year in which the European Wilderness Society adapted to new circumstances, established new alliances and cooperations with new partners, developed new communications techniques and even reduced our CO2 footprint.
Please also read: Wild holidays to everyone!
Followers and outreach increases with 30%
As this turbulent year comes to an end, we can conclude that international online communication is more important than ever before. This year, during every weekday, the European Wilderness Society provided its followers with a new informative article. Topics ranged from Wilderness, to wildlife, our coexistence with nature, or nature conservation in general. All this information reached over 340 000 readers, a staggering 30% increase compared to 2019!
Here is the list of some of the top articles that our followers read most this year:
- 180 hunters kill one Wolf pack in Norway
- First bear in Germany in 16 years
- As countries go on lockdown, nature goes wild
- New study proves wolves and livestock can peacefully coexist
- Where in Europe does Wilderness still exist?
Putting Wilderness on the map
When many countries enforced travel restrictions during the first global lockdown, the European Wilderness Society postponed all planned field activities. For example, we planned many great visits, to certify newly identified Wilderness candidates. Also, the Wilderness experts planned to visit several of the first audited Wilderness areas for a re-audit. Yet, with the travel restrictions this was not a responsible action. Therefore, the European Wilderness Society came up with an alternative to draw international attention to the beautiful Wilderness in Europe: the International Wilderness Week.
International Wilderness Week
What an amazing and successful 5-day International Wilderness Week it was. With almost 100 speakers from 30 different countries, and many tens of thousands of followers via Zoom and various social media, it asks for a second edition. Write it down in your calendars: 18th to 22nd October 2021 – International Wilderness Week!
New projects and partnerships
Throughout the year, the European Wilderness Society has worked on many ongoing as well as new exciting projects. To name a few:
- Seventeen great partners, under the lead of BIO AUSTRIA Niederösterreich und Wien and with support of the European Wilderness Society, started the LIFEstockProtect project started this year.
- In both Interreg Central Europe projects, BEECH POWER and Centralparks, interesting field visits, workshops and other activities were organised
- European Wilderness Society hosted a webinar-series with the Vlado Vancura Wilderness Academy.
- New material was produced for the ‘Respect Nature‘ project, an initiative of the European Wilderness Society
- The ‘Clean up Synevyr‘ project, co-financed by EOCA, was implemented with great online and on-site activities
- A follow-up Youth Green Conference, financed by Erasmus, has kicked off
- In Ukraine, the European Wilderness Society organised jointly with NGO Forza and others the Uzhgreenfest
- Webinars and new publications were presented online for the Forest biodiversity project
- and much more…
Also, the Interreg Volunteer Youth initiative provided us with another group of great wild volunteers! Read about their adventures on the Wilderness Diary. In support of local citizens engagement, they even organised several small-scale events. For example, the successful wildlife tracking in Slovenia together with Dinaricum in Triglav National Park. And just last week, the IVYs organised another activity, including a fun EU Nature Quiz and Christmas chit chat!
Happy New Year 2021
Our team is confident that 2021 will be another great year, full with new experiences, adventures and friends. We warmly welcome your support, while we continue with our efforts to protect Europe’s wildest places. We also want to especially thank our more than 200 active donors who are helping us with their ongoing contribution to protect Europe’s last Wilderness and its Wildlife. Without you we would not be as successful as we are.
We wish you a happy and wild new year!
Anni, Gintare, Gudrun, Hanna, Iryna, Julia, Jonas, Laura, Max, Nick, Otto, Robin, Timothy and Vlado
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