World Wilderness Day announced for the 23rd October

After a successful inaugural International Wilderness Week, it is our pleasure to announce the 23rd of October as World Wilderness Day! Mark this day in your calendar and use it as an opportunity to explore and celebrate Wilderness! On this day we should do all we can to appreciate Wilderness that little bit more. You can learn more about it, promote it or go into Wilderness itself and enjoy it.

International Wilderness Week

During the International Wilderness Week we were reminded of why we should cherish Wilderness. With around 100 presenters from over 30 countries the event truly exposed us to the global nature of the Wilderness movement. We heard about the American Wilderness, the birthplace of the modern Wilderness concept and also from numerous other fascinating Wilderness areas including the Tasmanian Wilderness and the Far East Taiga Wilderness.

Wilderness is not just a physical construct, but also a cultural and social one too. On this end, the International Wilderness Week included presentations on Environmental Ethics from a Chinese perspective. In addition, the event included a look at the human relationship with Wilderness and nature from an Italian environmental NGO. The event also explored topics including flagship species in both marine and terrestrial Wilderness, such as bears and sharks. Over 300 participants took part in this multi-faceted event, with a total outreach of 30 000 people. By building on this, we can spread the benefits of Wilderness further via the new World Wilderness Day.

European Wilderness Network

The new World Wilderness Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of European Wilderness Network. They play a key role in stewarding Wilderness in their protected areas. Over 40 member areas, covering 17 countries, make up the European Wilderness Network. The network consists of Wilderness area, WILDRiver, WILDCoast, WILDForest, and WILDIsland components.

These sites spread as far west as the Peneda-Gerês Wilderness in Portugal, and as far east as the Borjomi-Kharagauli Wilderness in Georgia. Some of Europe’s last free flowing rivers and untouched landscapes are part of the Network and it is important to maintain support for these areas and celebrate their uniqueness.

All this wonderful Wilderness needs to be recognised and appreciated! The second International Wilderness Week which will take place between the 18th to the 22nd of October 2021. After another week-long festival of Wilderness, celebrate World Wilderness Day with us next year!

Save the date: 23rd of October! #WorldWildernessDay

Following on from the successful first International Wilderness Week, let’s celebrate World Wilderness Day together annually, on the 23rd of October!

Max Rossberg
Chairman of the European Wilderness Society

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