Update shows wide use in 2022 of the wilderness definition

Valley Head of Krimmler Achental, Hohe Tauern NP

A recent review of Wild Europe’s definition of wilderness, originally produced in 2014, shows its use is widespread and expanding. The intention was to create a set of criteria that produce uniformly high standards for protection and restoration, regardless of biogeographical or cultural circumstance.

Below are some of the applications:

  • The definition has been adopted as a basis for work by CEL (Coordination Evolution Libre), the newly constituted NGO network in France. It was also input by IUCN France to the French government review of criteria for President Macron’s target announced in 2019for 10% of his country to be protected in a condition of “plein naturalité” (full naturalness), subsequently adapted to “protection forte” (strong protection).
  • Fundatia Conservation Carpathia (FCC) Romania, aiming to create the largest privately funded wilderness reserve in Europe, is using the definition as its basis for planning. https://www.carpathia.org
  • The European Wilderness Society has formulated the EWQA (European Wilderness Quality Assessment), a programme of certification based on the Wild Europe definition as developed with our Wilderness Working Group. This is being rolled out in a number of EU and non-EU countries across Europe. https://wilderness-society.org/european-wilderness-definition/
  • The definition has a key role to play in long-term wilderness planning for Sumava National Park (Czech Republic), alongside a model programme of ‘wilderness support’ which Wild Europe has run since 2012 in conjunction with local NGOs, involving international representation, economic feasibility assessment and enterprise implementation.
  • Most recently, the definition has been used in formulation of an exercise to map wilderness in Iceland, covering some 40% of the country, and involving the Wilderness Research Institute of Leeds University with local cartographers. Its results were presented in March 2022 at an event launched by Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Environment. Reference: https://www.wildeurope.org/large-wilderness-mapping-exercise-in-iceland/#more-3756

December 2019, this post was updated in May 2021 and in April 2022