About Wild Europe

Executive Committee meeting, chaired by Ladislav Miko.Executive Committee meeting, chaired by Ladislav Miko.

Originally established in 2005, the Wild Europe initiative promotes a coordinated strategy for protection and restoration of wilderness and large wild areas of natural process and habitat, addressing the threats and opportunities facing them.

We are a partnership providing joint representation, rather than a membership body. We aim to support existing bodies and initiatives but not to duplicate their activities.

The partnership is currently comprised of agencies, NGOs, other institutions and key individuals. Its links reach beyond conservation to seek consensus with farming, forestry, business and urban social interests.

Further information can be found in the Wild Area Action Agenda.

Objectives of Wild Europe

  1. To ensure implementation of policy recommendations for wild and wilderness areas from the 2009 Prague EC Presidency conference
  2. To devise and support initiatives for protection and restoration arising from these
  3. To promote exchange of best practice in protection, restoration, management and utilization of benefits
  4. To communicate the concept and value of wildness in Europe to key decision takers

Who we are

EU Parliamentary endorsement

The Wild Europe initiative was directly endorsed by a European Parliament Report in February 2009:

“European Parliament calls on the Commission to accept the Wild Europe Initiative, a partnership of several nature conservation organisations including IUCN, IUCN-WCPA, WWF, Birdlife International and PAN Parks, with a strong interest in wild lands or nearly wild areas” (Report 2210 Section 16)

The initiative was recommended, in its present form, by an EC Presidency conference held in Prague in May 2009, attended by 238 participants from 36 countries.

Wild Europe spans the full range of countries in the European arenaWild Europe spans the full range of countries in the European arena

The partnership currently is run through an Executive Committee, which meets periodically at the European Commission in Brussels. This is chaired by Ladislav Miko, former director of Environment DG at the European Commission. Participants provide pro bono support and funding contributions.

The Wild Europe initiative currently includes representatives and individuals from the following organizations:

Wild Europe Executive Committee as at May 2014

Ladislav Miko (Chair)

Former Director Natural Environment EC

Deputy Director-General SANCO EC

Alberto Arroyo

OBO WWF European Policy Office

Toby Aykroyd

Coordinator, Wild Europe Initiative

Boris Barov

European Manager, Birdlife International

Neil Birnie

Chief Executive, Conservation Capital

Steve Carver

Director, Wildland Research Institute

Eladio Fernandez Galiano  

Head of Biodiversity, Council of Europe

Hugh Fullerton-Smith

Former Director, European Nature Trust

Natarajan Ishwaran

Former Head of Biodiversity, UNESCO

Rob Jongman

Former Director, Alterra Consultancy

Ctibor Kocman

European Commission, DG Env, B3

Cyril Kormos

Vice Chair for World Heritage, IUCN-WCPA

Zoltan Kun

Chairman, European Wilderness Society

Jeffrey McNeely

Chief Scientist (retd), IUCN Global

Neil McIntosh

Deputy Director ECNC/LHN

Vance Martin

Chair, IUCN Wilderness Task Force

Federiko Minozzi

European PO, Europarc Federation

Patrick Nuvelstijn

European Coord, Natuurmonumenten

Olli Ojala

Finnish Environment Institute
Former European Commission DG EnvB3

Carol Ritchie

Director, Europarc Federation

Jo Roberts

Chief Exec, Wilderness Foundation UK

Ernst Schulte

European Commission
Head of Forest Sector, AFS, B1

Frans Schepers

Managing Director, Rewilding Europe

Erika Stanciu

President, ProParcs
Former President, Europarc Federation.

Magnus Sylven

International consultant, former director WWF Europe & Middle East

Graham Tucker

Head of Biodiversity Programme, Institute of European Environmental Policy

Daniel Vallauri

Programme Manager Forest Biodiversity, WWF France

Jaap van der Waarde

Senior Advisor, Landscapes and Species, WWF Netherlands

Tony Whitbread

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (UK)

Sebastian Winkler

Former Coordinator, Countdown 2010

Wild Europe - Wilderness Working Group

Members of the WWG mapping sub-group discuss the latest techniques for a wilderness register. Members of the WWG mapping sub-group discuss the latest techniques for a wilderness register.

The Wilderness Working Group (WWG) brings together leading wild area practicioners from across Europe. The Group’s remit is to develop policy and propose practical initiatives for protection and restoration.

Chaired by Erika Stanciu (Wild Europe Executive Committee) the Group meets two or three times a year. Its work includes assessing practical definitions, mapping, support for new initiatives such as the Wilderness Register, and fund raising proposals for a Pan-European communications strategy.

The WWG is currently comprised of participants from 15 countries: Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Finland, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and the USA. Its membership includes NGO representatives, national park directors and scientists.

Technical sub-groups have been created, to help formulate a definition for wilderness and wild areas. And, most recently, to review and propose improved approaches for mapping and monitoring – in parallel with development of the Wilderness Register.

Other meetings

A policy discussion at IUCN office in Brussels.A policy discussion at IUCN office in Brussels.

Wild Europe develops its policies from a wide range of inputs, with a series of ad hoc meetings which discuss particular topics.

In the photo to the right, a group of NGO representatives examines proposals. These included, from left to right: Michael Zika (WWF Austria), Feiko Prins (Natuurmonumenten, retd), Joep van de Vlasakker (Flaxfield Nature Consultancy, Belgium), Sandra Bakker (Statsbosbeheer, Netherlands), Bill Murphy (Coillte, Republic of Ireland), Denis Strong (National Parks and Wildlife Service, Republic of Ireland), Cipriano Marin (UNESCO), Ishwaran Natarajan (UNESCO), David Morris (Caucasus Nature Fund), Monika Jacobs (IUCN Regional Office for Europe), Zdenka Krenova (Biodiversity Research Centre, Czech Republic), Ben Delbaere (ECNC/LHN). Backs to camera: Zoltan Kun (PANParks), Peter Hobson (CEEM, UK), Federico Minozzi (Europarc Federation)