Construction or extension of roads and other ‘artificial interventions’ has been banned across large areas in an Untrodden Mountains initiative announced by Prime Minister Kryiakos Mitsotakis.
This will cover six areas under Natura 2000 designation across Greece, totalling some 97,000 hectares.
Of course nobody disputes the overall value of roads, but ever denser networks in Europe are a key factor behind landscape degradation and biodiversity loss: causing direct mortality, fragmenting habitat and often promoting its deterioration, disturbing wildlife, encouraging invasive species and undermining tourist experience.
Yet another victim of the Coronavirus pandemic, the inaugural programme of this pioneering educational project has been cancelled.
Due to run in Lubeck, Germany from 30/08/20 – 10/09/20 the Summer School was designed for advanced students and young professionals in conservation and forestry.
Involving a partnership between Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Natural Forest Academy together with Wild Europe, the programme covered natural forest ecology, protection and management from those with a practical understanding of the challenges involved.
There has been great interest, and the programme should be re-established soon.
It was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the EP Committee on Petitions (PETI).
The legal framework for protection is reviewed under conditions of derogation, along with measures to promote coexistence and implications for management.
While populations are recovering, the Study concludes that significant further endeavour is required to recover fuller functionality across former ranges where ecological and spatial conditions remain favourable or can be restored.
Lethal control has little effect as a management measure
Hunting worsens the impact of intolerance, eg poaching
Wider dissemination of successful livestock management practices to mitigate conflict is crucial
Compensation must be linked to such practices, and not operated in isolation, to produce sustainable outcomes
More focus needed on promotion, communication and engagement of all stakeholders
Global management guidelines published for wilderness protected areas
The IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, in tandem with the Wild Foundation, published in 2016 a comprehensive set of guidelinesgoverning all key aspects of management for wilderness areas.
These are applied under all forms of governance – public, private, local community. They also address a range of management instruments, including rewilding and restoration.
A range of case studies are examined, including the Natura 2000 network (Page 38 Case Study 11 provided by Wild Europe), where EC guidelines for management of wilderness areas are based on our definition of wilderness.
Some 2.5% of the EU land area (then including the UK) is protected for its wilderness attributes within the Natura 2000 network, although the proportion covered by wilderness as defined by the minimum scale in Wild Europe’s definition is nearer 2%.