European Wilderness Society

What does Wilderness mean to you?

During the International Wilderness Week, we have heard many stories, opinions and angles on Wilderness. It has once again proven the diversity of Wilderness. Not only the diversity of different Wilderness areas around the globe, but also the diverse emotions, experiences and meanings people connect with Wilderness.

For many of our speakers, Wilderness means both passion and profession. It is their purpose in life that has accompanied them since they were young. For many, Wilderness has never lost that awe and fascination they felt as a child. For Mazin Qumsiyeh, it is not only a connection to his childhood, but even his ancestors. And for Marc Dragiewicz, it is the place for his child to explore and wonder. This is why they all want to protect Wilderness. Through research, communication, policy or work in the field.

Wilderness means diversity

The diversity of our speakers is also reflected by their image of wilderness. For Simon King from South Africa, Wilderness is big. Arjit Jere from india thinks about the endless diversity of forests, coasts, mountains and oveans in his country. Deborah January- Bevers finds wild beaches, rivers, forests and prairies and more ecoregions within her home of Houston. For Santiago Arroyo, Wilderness means the perfect class room.

In our video, 24 people from 14 countries across four continents tell us what Wilderness means to them:

Wilderness can mean a place to escape, recharge, learn, teach and even find yourself. It connects you to your environment, but is also shows that you are just a tiny piece of the hugh puzzle that is our world. Wilderness is a world in balance with the freedom for all its inhabitants to develop naturally. This balance is chaotic and ordered at the same time, constantly renewing itself. In this world humans must accept that they are not in control, but equal to all other beings.

Wilderness for me means that we should stop trying to control nature and let it mend for itself.

Polona Pengal
REVIVO. Slovenia

Wilderness in its essence is nature in it purest form. It is blank canvas on that everyone can project their own thoughts. What does WIlderness mean to you?

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