President of Slovakia to participate at Wild Europe conference
Her excellency Zuzana Čaputová, recently elected President of Slovakia and Goldman Prize winner, has provided her patronage for a conference in Bratislava on 20 – 21st November which she will also be attending.
The conference will be attended by government ministers, MEPs, senior figures from the EU, Council of Europe and UNESCO together with leaders from conservation, forestry, landholding and other sectors.
Addressing the challenges and opportunities facing wilderness and old-growth forest, its two main objectives are:
- To produce new initiatives aimed at strengthening the protection agenda and supporting larger scale ecological restoration, on the 10th anniversary of our involvement in the 2009 EU Parliamentary Resolution on wilderness, passed by a massive and enduring 538 vote mandate.
- To determine and develop next steps for the old growth forest protection strategy, building on the projects initiated with the 550,000 euro raised since our Brussels conference in 2017
Critical timing of the conference
The conference comes at a critical moment for the future of old growth forest and wilderness in general. Destruction and degradation of habitat is worsening even in supposedly protected areas, illegal and inappropriate logging is widespread and there are growing challenges from climate change, and political indifference.
Equally there are significant positive opportunities to be secured from new national initiatives and effective use of a wild nature enterprise and funding agenda. Additionally the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy, a New Green Deal, guidelines for the new European Commission – all to be determined in the next few months with impact on EU and non-EU states alike.
The conference programme
With key focus on climate change and utilising ecosystem services, the Conference programme will include:
- Launch of a European Wilderness Forum, to strengthen representation for the leading areas in Europe
- A new practical toolkit for fund raising and wild nature enterprise
- Addressing the wood fuel energy issue
- Key elements for a 10-year restoration strategy
- Introducing the new IUCN Task Force on Rewilding
- Expansion of the citizen app combating illegal logging in Romania to other countries
- Results of mapping and carbon projects for primary/old growth forest, with development of an Early Warning System
- Sharing best management Guidelines between EU and non EU states
- Extending the Wilderness Register to non-EU states
Together with President Čaputová’s team, the Conference will develop an Action Plan with key recommendations based on recommendations from participants
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