More favourable policies towards the wild
Also at the European policy level things are moving to the better and leading to improved enabling policies for wilderness and wildlife. A real milestone was the adoption of the “European Parliament Resolution on Wilderness in Europe”, in February 2009.
An increasingly favourable European policy towards wildlife, wilderness and rewilding
“European Parliament Resolution on Wilderness in Europe”
In this resolution the European Parliament called on the European Commission to develop a clear definition of wilderness, to mandate the European Environment Agency to map existing wilderness areas in Europe, to undertake a study on the values and benefits of wilderness, to develop an EU wilderness strategy, to promote the development of new wilderness areas (“rewilding”), and to promote the values of wilderness together with NGOs & local communities. The European Parliament also welcomed the establishment of the Wild Europe Initiative (WEI) – a collaborative effort to promote the wilderness concept amongst several European nature conservation organisations, including PAN Parks, EUROPARC, WWF, BirdLife, IUCN, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), and European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC).
The “Message from Prague”
In May 2009, more than 230 delegates met at the Prague “Conference on Wilderness and Large Natural Habitat Areas” hosted by the Czech European Union Presidency and the European Commission. A key outcome was the development of the “Message from Prague”, which contained 24 recommendations from the participants on policy, research, awareness raising, mass communication and partnerships. The Prague conference also saw the call for nominations for suitable rewilding areas, which led to the subsequent forming of the Rewilding Europe initiative.
The “Vision for a Wilder Europe”
At the 10th World Wilderness Congress, WILD10, in Salamanca, Spain, in October 2013, nine conservation organisations signed and published a “Vision for a Wilder Europe”, showing that new thinking in this field is happening also in the non-government organisations. Rewilding Europe is one of the signatory parties behind this vision, in which much of our ideas are reflected.
The Vision for a Wilder Europe (published 2013) can be downloaded here.