Achievements and Objectives
Main achievements for 2016/17
- Preparation of strategy for old growth forest protection with a number of projects initiated in preparation for a Conference at the Committee of the Regions on 13/14th September to develop this.
These projects include:
- Promoting incentives for protection under non state ownership (private, community, corporate)
- Assessing gaps in current legislation and policy
- Mapping overview of current location
- Early Warning network
- Proposal for a standardised definition
- Promotion of old growth forests as an icon for the ecosystem service agenda
- Identification of funding sources and new legal frameworks for long-term protection
- Large Wilderness Area programme – ongoing support for development of the four large model wilderness areas:
Wolf Mountains (East Slovakia, West Ukraine, South East Poland), Bialowieza Forest, Sumava NP and Romanian Carpathians. A fifth area, in Asturias, is now under review.
- Further development of the ‘wilderness enterprise agenda’, with launch of the Wild Europe funded initial assessment of economic & enterprise feasibility for the Wolf Mountain initiative (above), and involvement in an economic appraisal for wild areas in Scotland.
- Phase II project prepared for the EC Guidelines on management of wilderness in Natura 2000 network: this will be submitted for the new EC Action Plan for Nature. Meanwhile, there are new translations of the Guidelines into Czech, French and German.
- Linkage between EC Natura 2000 and UNESCO World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve networks, promoting the concept at director level to both organisations, with proposals for using the old growth forest strategy to trial closer coordination.
- Production of a definition for ‘wild areas’ in Europe, currently in initial consultation stages, aimed in particular at countries in Western Europe – in some cases as a precursor for future development of new wilderness areas.
- Further support for national wild and wilderness programmes: in Great Britain, two new wild areas identified in Wales and Scotland, and work begun on establishment. Initiation of the wild mapping and strategy project in France with funding from Wild Europe.
- Suggestion by UNESCO for prospective use of our “Sumava model” (targeted representation, economic assessment, enterprise implementation) for World Heritage Sites facing key threats.
- Wild Europe definition structure for wilderness implemented by areas in Austria, Romania and Ukraine.
- CAP reform proposals promoted at meetings in Brussels, 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.
Objectives for 2017/18
Wild Europe initiative (WEI) in tandem with its partner organizations has identified five sets of objectives for 2017/18:
- Objective 1) Catalysing/Protecting model areas
- Romanian Carpathians: ongoing input to the community enterprise programme and general development of the FCC initiative.
- Sumava National Park: Implementation of the ‘wilderness enterprise’ project, promoting potential for national and wider European replication. Assessment of potential for a large-scale habitat restoration project.
- Wolf Mountains: Implementation of Phase II of the wilderness enterprise project. Input to further expansion and promotion and the overall initiative.
- Bialowieza National Park: Further liaison on potential for further progress with our proposals for non extractive community enterprise alternatives to logging, involving significant expansion of the non-intervention area.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe: assessment and preparation of a benefit based support package, particularly for areas under threat
- Asturias, Spain: Support to partners for a preliminary appraisal of wilderness opportunities in the region
- Objective 2) Supporting country strategy
- France: Promoting outputs from the mapping of wilderness potential, funded by Wild Europe, with linkage to strategy development
- UK: Support for two large rewilding areas in Wales and Scotland. Proposal of flood mitigation mapping as basis for large-scale restoration opportunity.
- Germany: Ongoing support for 2% Federal wilderness target, linked to our wilderness definition and old growth forest ecosystems
- Romania: Ongoing input to address of old growth forest and illegal timber issues, linked to the OGF Protection Strategy
- Objective 3) Implement sector/topic specific programmes
- Delivery of Old Growth Forest conference on 13/14th September 2017
- Establishment of OGF strategy, with all project elements:
- Illegal logging: Ongoing input, donor identification, data collection
- Organizations, third party funding identification
- Biomass proposals: Develop and represent
- Private sector agency project: Support for initiation, liaison with CEPF
- State Forest Agency project: Ongoing input, liaison with EUSTAFOR and SFA
- CAP Reform: Finalise draft proposals, input from specialists, circulate among partners, build inter-sector consensus, promote.
- Ecosystem service funding: Platform on enterprise generating cash for PES agenda. Support for model forest carbon and flood mitigation projects
- Objective 4) Input to Europe-wide mechanisms
- EU Fitness Check and Nature Action Plan: Follow up action including improved adoption of socio-economic agenda, wilderness role, KBA
- Working definitions: Promote wilderness definition – practical implementation and certification of areas. Develop wild area definition
- EC Guidelines: Promote generally, more language translations, catalyse joint best practice project, use in non EU states. Develop Phase II project
- Wilderness Register: Promote transfer to non EU states, update, expansion and usage. Develop Phase II project
- Objective 5) Wild Europe capacity and strategy
- Produce ANEEP (Audit of non Extractive Economic Potential): Finalise services, implementation
- Social Benefits Forum: Launch trial format
- 2035 Target: Finalise 5% formulation and circulate for feedback; promote
- Seek partner agreements in line with Brexit transition