Action Plan for a wilder Europe
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:
- Strict protection for a linked network of areas covering 10% of Europe’s terrestrial and marine areas
- All old growth/primary forest to be included in strict protection together with adjacent areas – totalling some 15% of forest cover
- Such strict protection to involve non-intervention, particularly for forests, unless necessary in limited circumstances for protection of individual endangered species
Targets built on inter-sector consensus
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.
There are a couple of dozen projects already underway in support of the Plan, and Wild Europe is one of 6 NGOs (along with IUCN, WWF, BLI, FERN and EEB) on the EC’s Forest and Nature Working Group, providing input for implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Strong emphasis is placed on reasserting the integrity of Europe and the EU’s global status for environmental probity – with a call for cessation of all subsidies for forest bioenergy, and their reallocation to genuine renewables that address rather than aggravate climate change.
Published on 1 March 2021