European Wilderness SocietyUkraine

Wilderness Experts Exchange Programme visited the Ukraine

Wilderness Experts Exchange Programme visited some of Europe´s most outstanding Wilderness

During the first week of May 2016, the European Wilderness Society organised a professional wilderenss and old-growth beech forest expedition and explored the best existing and potential Wilderness in Ukraine.

The trip was attended by Herbert Wölger, Director of the Nationalpark Gesäuse, Austria. He was guided by representatives of the European Wilderness Society for 7 days to the heart of the Carpathian Wilderness. The trip focused to visit the best existing and potential Wilderness and unique old-growth beech forest in Zakarpattya Region, Ukraine. Zakarpattya is one of the most original corners of Ukraine. It is a region with the unique geopolitical and geographical location (covering the south-west part of the Ukrainian Carpathians and Dunabe lowland). Due to its geographical features Zakarpattya has been for long a convenient junction between the countries of Northern and Southern, Eastern and Western Europe.

During this week-long trip the European Wilderness Society explored with Herbert the certified Wilderness in Zacharovanyy Kray NP and a new potential Wilderness in Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR).

The Zacharovanyy Kray Wilderness is in the process of enlargement and reducing the fragmentation. Two of the most important recommendations of the international EWQA assessment carried out in this area last year.

The second visited area – the ancient Carpathian beech forest Uholka in Carpathians Biosphere Reserve is the largest unfragmented piece of old growth beech forest in Europe. Uholka Wilderness has applied to be audited under the European Wilderness Quality Standard and Audit System, just like 4 other areas in 2015.

´My personal impression of these big untouched areas was overwhelming. It was good to have the possibility to see such wild forests. But more important than my emotional impression is what I found as a National Park professional and forest expert: a huge value for nature itself and also for science…´

said Herbert at the end of the demanding week, when finally sun popped up among heavy rainy clouds. If you are interested, here is some more information about the  Wilderness Experts Exchange Programme of the European Wilderness Society.

Here are some impressions.. Enjoy!

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