Achievements & Objectives 2019/21 – Summary

Wild Europe with its partners has a rolling programme. Many activities and objectives are not promoted on our website, so if you are interested in receiving more information on any particular topic, please contact:


Main achievements for 2019/20

1. Implementation of old growth/primary forest strategy

  • Wild Europe OGF/wilderness conference in Bratislava 20/21stNovember 2019
  • Lobbying for total protection of old growth/primary forest in the EU
  • Further funding and launch of Francesco Sabatini forest mapping
  • Production of definition & management principles for OGF/primary forest
  • Support for developing carbon benefits model of OGF
  • Creation of IUCN motion for improved OGF protection (Daniel Vallauri) based on WEI Strategy for Protection
  • State agency project: best practice and set-aside represented to EUSTAFOR
  • Agreement on value of OGF secured from Presidents of CEPF & EUSTAFOR

2. Further support for wilderness and wild areas

  • Wild Europe conference in Bratislava 20/21stNovember sets key targets
  • Lobbying for 10% wilderness target in EU and non-EU states
  • Support for FCC Romania, including 5.5 million Euro facilitated from ELP
  • Extended protection agreed by Czech government to Sumava NP
  • Substantial inputs to Clima Carpathia mega protection initiative
  • Support for Central European Wolf Mountains project
  • Finalisation of freehold/leasehold non-state landowning structure in UK to support very long-term protection & restoration of wild areas

3. Input for national strategies

  • Proposal for France Sauvage NGO network, including support for Macron vision of 10% haute naturalité/protection forte
  • Funding for mapping project to identify key wilderness areas in France
  • Proposals for implementation of German 2% target: PES potential
  • Finalisation & promotion of the definition for ‘wild areas’ in Europe
  • Launch of enlarged Hohe Tauern NP, Austria wilderness (Wild Europe criteria)
  • Rewilding Britain – through board, including input to English Tree Strategy

4. Development of key topic/strategy agendas

  • Membership of EC Working Party on Forests & Nature for 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy implementation
  • Development of briefing materials for the Working Party
  • Inputs to updated 2015 EC Guidelines for Forest Management in N2000
  • Input to EU Biodiversity and Forest Strategies
  • Input to EU Restoration Strategy & targets, building on 2010 Strategy
  • Sound Science initiative launched for forest bioenergy campaign
  • Further input to 2020 CAP programme
  • Combatting bias in EC consultation on forest bioenergy

5. Promotion of conservation infrastructure development

  • Meeting facilitation and input for IUCN Rewilding Task Force
  • Development of proposals for European Investment Bank role
  • Proposals for linkage between EC N2000, Bern Convention Emerald Network and UNESCO WH and Biosphere networks

6. Strengthening Wild Europe’s organizational capacity

  • Stichting foundation structure (Netherlands legislature) chosen and prepared
  • Zoltan Kun appointed Head of Conservation, Erika Stanciu appointed Head of Policy


Objectives for 2020/21

1. Implementation of Old Growth/Primary Forest Protection Strategy

1a  Support for key outcomes from EU Biodiversity Strategy:

  • 15% of EU forest cover, 10% of EU terrestrial & marine area, strictly protected
  • Strict protection default to be complete non-intervention, with exceptions
  • Multi-target representation: EC Working Group, EC, EP, Council of Ministers, institutions
  • Building common ground with EUSTAFOR & CEPF through compensation reform and PES agenda

1b Promotion of key objectives in Forest Strategy

  • Adoption of definition structure for OGF/primary forest
  • Implementation of 15% forest cover strictly protected and connected
  • Clear, full non-intervention definition of strict protection
  • Reform of compensation system
  • Development of LEAF initiative for forest protection and restoration
  • International primary forest conference with Wild Heritage

1c  Stage II of Griffiths programme

Further usage of the 320,000 euro contract handed by Wild Europe to Frankfurt Zoological Society which is working on the following projects:

  • Promote adoption of Sabatini OGF mapping methodology for wider EU Biodiversity Strategy
  • Development of a forest carbon model, distinguishing greater OGF storage capacity
  • Establishment of community enterprise in Slovakia (Wolf Mountains initiative)
  • Launch of Forest School and wider replication
  • Development of forest website for non-intervention best practice

 1d  Forest bioenergy project initiated:

  • Building anti-forest bioenergy alliance
  • Project for reallocation of subsidies to effective address of climate change
  • End Fossil Fuels to become End Carbon Fuels
  • Inputs to RED II reform, LULUCF consultation

2. Large Wilderness Area programme

  • Adoption of 10% wilderness target in Europe: 5% with all criteria, 5% characteristics but with relaxed scale requirement
  • Bialowieza Forest – ongoing consultation and relaunch of our concept plan for significant enlargement of the core area into the UNESCO World Heritage site, first suggested in 2014 and based on community wild nature enterprise and extensive restoration
  • Nephin, Ireland – Coillte project: Support for a broader restoration initiative
  • Continued input to Clima Carpathia initiative for Carpathian Mountains
  • Pursuit of original targets for Wolf Mountains programme (East Slovakia, West Ukraine, South East Poland)
  • Development of European Wilderness Forum, launched at 2019 Bratislava conference
  • Full activation of PES agenda: including mechanism deliverer network, matching exercise

3. Development of national level strategies for wilderness

  • Wider promotion of wild area definition in Europe, now under consultation, including proposal for rewilding UK National Parks system
  • IUCN France – further engagement through Wild Europe’s membership of the newly formed Coordination Libre Evolution network, with funding for a mapping exercise, identifying model wild and prospective wilderness areas, and strategy for addressing restoration opportunities
  • Promotion in Slovakia of wilderness targets (55% and 75%) in Slovakia NPs, and usage as model for wider adoption
  • Support for Czech Republic wilderness strategy

4. Development of key topic/strategy agendas

  • CAP reform proposals promoted, involving reallocation of payments towards ecosystem service provision, modification of GAEC regulations, input of Ecological Focus Area supplements tradable at regional level, and general promotion of a stronger socio-economic agenda in coordination with land user associations
  • Adoption of the freehold/leasehold structure for long-term protection on privately owned land by model landowners, and extension to EU countries
  • Promotion of EC Wilderness Register Stage II: update and extension to non-EU countries including Emerald Network areas; link to mapping exercises
  • Proposal of reforms to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure
  • Private sector incentives: reform of compensation payment agenda; full activation of Payment for Ecosystem Services agenda

5. Strengthening Wild Europe’s organizational capacity

  • Launch of Wild Europe Action Plan
  • Launch of Wild Europe Stichting foundation in Netherlands
  • Development of direct project programme
  • Adoption of funding strategy
  • Appointment of further personnel

Further information is available on all these initiatives, via