Ladislav Miko appointed lead advisor to EC Presidency
Congratulations to Ladislav Miko on his appointment to advise the forthcoming EC Presidency, to be undertaken by the Czech Republic from July to December this year.
Longtime stalwart supporter of wilderness in Europe, and Chairman of Wild Europe until recently (still a trustee), Ladislav will relinquish his current role as head of the EU representation to the Slovakian Republic to undertake this crucial task.
He will be faced by a crowded schedule that encompasses numerous meetings in the run up to determination of the EU Biodiversity and Forest Strategies, as well as the emerging Restoration Law.
Protection for several of Europe’s largest remaining wilderness areas is now within reach, thanks to a new mapping initiative. This has been undertaken by Icelandic cartographers in tandem with the Wildland Research Institute of Leeds University, directed by Steve Carver.
Based on Wild Europe’s definition and zonation criteria, itself linked to IUCN Category Ib, the initiative was launched on 22nd March 2022 in Reykjavik with Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Environment.
Wilderness still covers over 40% of Iceland’s terrestrial area, and this exercise provides a valuable model for identifying large natural ecosystem areas that are suitable for restoration and protection in Europe generally.
It is particularly relevant given the consensus among conservationists for non-intervention to play a significant role in the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy as the default interpretation of “strict protection” applying to 10% of EU terrestrial and marine areas.
As of 2nd February 2022 Wild Europe is designated as a Stichting, registered in the Netherlands
Our objectives remain unchanged, although our new structure will significantly enhance our ability to secure these across a broad range of activities. While we are based in the European Union, our remit will still cover the whole of Europe: from Ireland in the West to the Urals and Caucasus in the East.
COP 26 Climate Change Summit – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Billed as a last chance saloon to avert profoundly damaging climate change before the 2030 target date, COP 26 in Glasgow from 1-13 November 2021 was characterised by a spate of pronouncements and initiatives.
What did it really achieve for climate and biodiversity, and how can this be built on strategically?
A few bullet points set the scene towards COP27 in Cairo.
Perfect storm for a forest bioenergy crisis – and how to address it
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that forest bioenergy worsens climate change, with higher emissions than any other fuel including gas or coal, elements within the EC currently considering reform of RED II continue to give it their strong support.
There are however crucial opportunities, currently underexploited, for addressing this issue.
Wild Europe’s Action Plan for large natural ecosystem areas – in EU and non EU countries – was launched on 11th January.
Described as ambitious but thoroughly practical, the Plan is strongly supportive of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and many of its key targets run in parallel:
Such targets are underpinned by recognition that adequate compensation must be paid to private landholders, alongside full activation of the Payment for Ecosystem Services agenda and significant support for carbon rich ecosystems from the Climate Fund. It is important to build common ground with inter-sector consensus to achieve this.