Call for assessment of progress on parliamentary wilderness resolution

Heeding the mandate for wilderness…. What action is being taken?Heeding the mandate for wilderness…. What action is being taken?

In February 2009, the European Parliament passed a Resolution, by an overwhelming 538 votes, calling for improved protection and funding for Europe’s last wilderness areas.

Over four years later, there is growing support for an assessment of what has been achieved by the Commission and Member States in heeding this request.

The Resolution contained seven key elements:

  • Better protection of wilderness areas
  • Management of wilderness in Natura 2000 areas
  • Developing wilderness areas
  • Promotion of wilderness areas
  • Wilderness and climate change
  • Definition and mapping of wilderness
  • Tackling alien species in wilderness areas

Wild Europe, in tandem with PAN Parks Foundation, is launching a proposal to review progress with implementation of the Resolution and identify priorities for action still required.·

This should be paralleled by an appraisal of achievement with recommendations contained in the ‘Message from Prague’ at the wilderness conference organized by Wild Europe in May 2009.

Heeding the mandate for wilderness

The European parliamentary Resolution constituted a massive populist endorsement of the importance of wilderness by Europe’s directly elected representatives.

At a time when budget cuts are enforcing ever more stringent prioritisation, it is important to ensure appropriate attention is being paid by the Commission and Member States to this issue.

The value of wilderness was stressed during a forum on wilderness organized by PAN Parks and Wild Europe at the Parliament in January 2012, where the European Commission’s Stefan Leiner, Head of Natura 2000 Unit, confirmed that “wilderness is an essential mainstream element of the European Biodiversity Strategy.”