Update shows wide use in 2022 of the wilderness definition
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 Wild Europe definition has been adopted by the EC published Wilderness Register – reference: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/wilderness/pdf/Wilderness_register_indicator.pdf
- It forms the basis for the EU Guidance on Wilderness and Wild Area Management in the Natura 2000 Network – reference: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/wilderness/pdf/WildernessGuidelines.pdf
- The German Federal government is using linkage to the definition within a broader approach for their 2% wilderness target, albeit tied to a smaller minimum size in order to be able to achieve this ambitious national objective within a reasonably short timescale – reference: https://www.bfn.de/themen/biotop-und-landschaftsschutz/wildnisgebiete/qualitaetskriterien.html
- The Austrian National Parks Association has adopted the Wild Europe minimum size along with its other criteria, with the definition being 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, with second stage expansion of the latter completed in 2020. https://www.wildeurope.org/model-wilderness-area-in-alps-based-on-wild-europe-definition/#more-3068
- 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