Current use of the Wild Europe definition of wilderness

  • The Wild Europe definition has been adopted by the European Commission for its Wilderness Register, and for its Guidelines on wilderness management in the Natura 2000 network – reference:
  • All larger areas of natural ecosystem (wilderness) liaised with, both within and outside the EU, have welcomed the Wild Europe definition as strengthening their position, and in several cases vindicating it against arguments that they could be downsized or introduce more compromise on usage
  • The Austrian National Parks Association has adopted the Wild Europe minimum size along with its other criteria because the definition is seen as offering a credible and practical instrument. It has already been used as the basis for designation of wilderness areas for Kalkalpen and Hohe Tauern National Parks.
  • Fundatia Conservation Carpathia (FCC) Romania, aiming to assemble the largest privately funded wilderness reserve in Europe, is using the definition as the basis for planning its acquired landholdings, negotiating community land use agreements where purchase is not possible.
  • The German Federal government is using linkage to the definition within a broader approach for their 2% wilderness target, albeit being bound to a smaller minimum size in order to be able to achieve this national objective.
  • The IUCN France National Committee working group is devising a national strategy for wilderness which has as a basis the Wild Europe definition
  • The definition has a key role to play in long-term wilderness planning for Sumava National Park (Czech Republic), alongside a programme of ‘wilderness enterprise’ for which Wild Europe is offering support.
  • The European Wilderness Society has developed the EWQA (European Wilderness Quality Assessment), a programme of certification based on the Wild Europe definition, which it is rolling out across Europe.

December 2017