About Wild Europe

Vaclav Havel (centre) opens the 2009 EC Conference. To his left, Toby Aykroyd (Director, Wild Europe), Ladislav Miko (Environment Minister, Czech Republic). To his right, Mike Hammell (Acting Director, European Commission, DG Environment), Luc Marie Gnacadja (Executive Secretary, United Nations CCD)

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.

Wild Europe was formally launched in 2009 at an EC Presidency conference in Prague which was opened by Vaclav Havel, former Czech President and author of the ‘Velvet Revolution’.

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.


Executive Committee meeting, chaired by Ladislav Miko

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

The partnership currently is run through an Executive Committee, which meets periodically 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.

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.

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

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



Welcome back to Erika Stanciu
as Chair of Wild Europe

Erika in her natural habitat (source https://propark.ro/en/echipa.html)

Erika Stanciu is a longstanding member of our core team.

She rejoined Wild Europe as our Head of Policy in 2020, following a role as Secretary of State for Forests in the previous Romanian government and subsequent development of the Propark Foundation training organisation, which she founded and chairs.

Before that, she was President of the Europarc Federation and Director of Retezat National Park in Romania, among other roles.