The New Year’s Resolution for Wilderness!
2015 will mark the middle of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, which aims at promoting the concept of living in harmony with nature. At the European Wilderness Society we believe in reaching such a harmony through introducing Wilderness to people in Europe and increase the public support for preserving the last great places of true nature.
Having seen the scope and potential of Wilderness and untrammelled nature in the vast open spaces of North America our team was inspired to starting the European Wilderness Society in 2014 to work for the natural freedom here in the crowded and urbanised Europe.
The year behind us was really successful as we developed the European Wilderness Quality Standard, we launched various online communication tools, and organised the 1st Wilderness Academy in Mittersill. These achievements would not have been possible without the support of several individuals and organisation. We are thankful to all of our supporters in our endeavour, but would like to particularly acknowledge the following organisations (in alphabetical order): The European Commission, John Muir Trust, Linking Tourism and Conservation Foundation, UNEP Vienna Office, Wildland Research Institute World Commission on Protected Areas and WWF Austria
There are two important activities which we are focusing our work on in 2015. First of all we want to increase the territory covered by Wilderness, where natural processes rule our environment in Europe. Our quality standard will help protected areas to secure Wilderness, restore wild attributes and constantly improve management practice. Secondly our team will work with educational institutes and schools in order increase the knowledge about Europe’s natural habitats and wildlife with special attention on large carnivores as emblematic species. In other words we will be
REWILDING THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF PEOPLE
Let us highlight a few activities, which our supporters will be able to join and help us on in 2015:
- We will be certifying the first protected areas based on the European Wilderness Quality Standard and help them to improve Wilderness stewardship
- Based on the success of the 1st Wilderness Academy, we will organise an annual conference bringing together various stakeholder groups interested in Wilderness and large carnivores
- We will be starting a special campaign for setting up the Pan-European Green Corridor Network (PEGnet)
- We will be running an educational programme for high school students in order to increase their knowledge about Europe’s precious natural habitat and wildlife
We sincerely hope that the UN will soon designate one of the remaining years of the UN Decade on Biodiversity and the International Year of Wilderness. Such a designation in the near future could help to bring more attention to Wilderness in Europe and beyond. Eventually this increased knowledge and attention will contribute to our advocacy work towards a European Wilderness Convention to be approved by the Council of Europe.
We will walk the talk and tell our story! The team of the European Wilderness Society sincerely believe in the rights of future generations to access Wilderness in Europe. Everyone should be able to link his / her mind to an emotional experience in Wilderness.
Our strength in wildlife and habitat conservation accompanied with the experience in communication will deliver both more Wilderness and more guardians of Wilderness in Europe. We will bring Wilderness protection into the mainstream of the nature conservation arena in Europe. Having said that we wish all of our partners, supporters and Wilderness guardians a Happy and Fruitful Wild 2015! Be ready to the adventure in the coming 12 months.
LET’S GO WILD IN 2015 (and beyond)!
Join us to preserve Europe’s Wilderness for future generations!
The team of the European Wilderness Society