European Wilderness Policy

Working with our partners in Europe, the past several years have resulted in great strides for wilderness and wildlife in Europe. In 2009, WILD played a supporting role in the Conference on Wilderness and Large Natural Habitats, organized by Wild Europe and jointly hosted by the Czech EU Presidency and the European Commission. The outcomes include a ‘Message from Prague’ which contains 24 recommendations which will create a wilder Europe.

This conference was a major milestone in defining, assessing and protecting wild areas in Europe. For the first time since the 3rd World Wilderness Congress (Scotland, 1983), a platform convened for politicians, academics, environmentalists and other interested groups with the aim of developing a coordinated strategy for protection and restoration of wilderness and the wild areas in Europe.

WILD was also a participant and partner in the 2010 EC Presidency Conference in Brussels.  During this conference, Kurt Vandenberghe, Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Potocnik, declared that, for the first time, wilderness is to be formally included in the EU Post 2010 Biodiversity Strategy.  WILD’s VP for Conservation Strategy Harvey Locke spoke during the conference.

WILD’s involvement in the conversation of wilderness in Europe has been ongoing since the 3rd World Wilderness Congress (1983) in Scotland. We continue to work closely with our sister organization The Wilderness Foundation UK and partners at Wild Europe, PAN Parks, Re-wildling Europe, Wilderness Associazione Italiana, and others. The energy in Europe is in motion….and we’re exploring opportunities to host the next World Wilderness Congress–WILD10–in Europe!