We often receive inquiries from especially students, but also donors: How does a normal workweek in a nature conservation non-profit NGO look like and for what do we use the donations?
I think this is best described if we look at a few weeks of our work in a little bit of detail.
International work and project development
Verena had been travelling and couch surfing through the United States for 8 weeks. She met not only with some of the most renown wilderness research institutes, but also held several great meetings with the governmental employees of the four Wilderness Agencies of the United States. Furthermore, she met with several Wilderness NGOs. Verena was able to hike, ski, and visit ome of the finest and even largest wilderness in North America. Additionally, she assisted in setting up cameratraps for wolverines. And last but not least, Stewart ‘Brandy’ Brandborg, the last living US Wilderness Act architect, introduced Verena for a presentation about European Wilderness to a large and captive audience. The result of this trip will be an extensive transatlantic know-how exchange programme. This programme will already start this June.
While Verena was establishing great contacts in the United States, Nick prepared several project proposals that were submitted Interreg and Erasmus calls. He also prepared concept notes for potential Life projects. Furthermore, he developed the next phase together with our partner in a wilderness project that is financed by the European Space Agency. In the meantime, Nick posted eight newsworthy articles, set up the new European Wilderness Network and developed several maps. Plus he prepared the latest publication for layout and printing, while skiing on the weekends. Additionally, he visited Germany and Czech Republic together with Vlado. And not to forget, Nick also assisted an Estonian NGO and a city in their fight against a massive pulp mill, which would significantly increase the logging pressure in the precious old growth forests of Estonia.
Wilderness assessment and WILDArt event
Vlado attended with Nick the honorary symposium for the late Karl-Friedrich Sinner and visited the Bavarian National Park in Germany. He undertook a Quickaudit of the cross-boundary Thayatal Wilderness. In between, Vlado finalized several Quicksheets and Quick Audit reports for Wilderness in Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Italy. Meanwhile, he also audited Synevyr Wilderness and the new Maramarosh Wilderness of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve in the Ukraine. And of course he continues working on the new European Wilderness Quality Standard and Audit System Version 2.0, which we will launch in a few months.
Iryna became just recently a mother of another great new wilderness advocate. However, she did not rest and she implemented with the help of the whole European Wilderness Society Team a great WILDArt Project in the Synevyr National Nature Park in the Ukraine.
Furthermore, she updated several websites and prepared a meeting with several of our Ukrainian Wilderness Partners. Next to that, Iryna spearheaded the Public Relation Campaign to save the iconic Svyodets Mountain Range in Ukraine from a mega ski-resort development. She also is holding regular trainings of school teachers on Wilderness and the Large Carnivores in Ukraine.
New websites and publications
Robin assisted in the accounting and started to work on the new website for the European Beech Forest Network. He also assisted our wolf pack with several of our ongoing marketing efforts. This includes the development of a new mobile Large Carnivore exhibition, which we will use in Ukraine in a few weeks for the first time. He also managed the cooking of our whole team of more than 25 artists and support staff during the WILDArt event in the Ukraine.
Rebecca joined us a volunteer and has already been involved in several projects. She is financed by a project that Nick developed with the European Volunteering Service. As eager as she is, Rebecca already assisted in the translation and proofreading of several documents. She is actively working on the European implementation of the amazing Leave No Trace concept together with Verena. She is also assisting in the planning of the European Wilderness Academy Days that we organise next May in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lungau.
Bodo and Monika are currently working on the lay-out of the new Quicksheets. Meanwhile, they are finalizing the Biennial Report that is ready in a few days. Furthermore, they developed the new marketing material for the European Wilderness Network Partners. We will present this and ship to the partners starting in April.
Youth workshop and European Wolf Network
Gudrun held a great wolf presentation in Bolzano in the Natural Museum recently. She continues her work on a book about personal encounters with wolves, together with Peter Sürth. And also she held a full-day workshop on Large Carnivores for youth at the Salzburg University in a few days.
Karin is assisting me in setting up a new European Wolf Network and is preparing several statements and best practice examples on Sustainable Tourism and Large Carnivores.
Lets get Wild School Education
Anni not only developed but also implemented the great Lets Get Wild school project, where we introduced more than 1000 Children to Wilderness including Rap songs performed by children. Anni finished submitting several project proposals to different donors, some of which had over 100 pages.
She also did the accounting for the past months and developed the budgets for 2018. Additionally, she did a lot of research on herd management and Large Carnivores. And Anni attended together several conferences with me and held meetings there.
Otto helped with the final wording of the project proposals. He assisted in a legal assessment, where we want to help an eastern European NGO with a difficult case.
Crossing many borders
I attended a Wolf Dialogue meeting close to Allentsteig, located on the Austrian-Czech border, travelled with representatives of the Austrian Agricultural Chamber to Switzerland to see livestock protection in the alps. I also attended the LIFE WolfAlps conference in Trento and will participate in the next Life Project conference in Goslar, Germany.
I gave several TV, radio- and press interviews on Wilderness and wolves. Additionally, I updated and maintained our five websites, installed a new WIFI router to boost our online capabilities to 300 MB/s and installed new antivirus software on several computers. And in between I talk to every member of our diverse team almost on a daily basis. I also won a contract to develop for Salzburg training material for sheep owners how to improve fences protecting their sheep from wolves and a concept for the new Wolf center Austria.
The work we do is possible because of you!
More than 1000 postings keep you up to date on our activities and there are many things I am sure I forgot to mention. But nevertheless, it is our passion for Wilderness that is our daily motivational factor in lobbying for more European Wilderness. Your contribution makes a large part of our work possible. We want to thank you for this, and will continue our work with all our dedication.