European Wilderness Days 2016

postponed until June 2017

Dear friends, wilderness advocates, professional partners and colleagues, Europe’s Wilderness protection has a relatively short history. The focus on our continent’s wilderness started to increase when the European Parliament adopted a special resolution on 3 February 2009. This resolution resulted in the approval of the Agenda for Wilderness and Wildland, which included 24 recommended actions. The Wilderness Academy Days is a unique European event.  We are sorry to inform you, that we need to reschedule the European Wilderness Academy Days 2016 to June 2017.  We had planned to host this year’s Academy Days in Turkey, as many of you expressed in interested in attending the event there. As some of you are aware, several issues arose during the refugee crisis which that led us to try to move the venue to Ukraine.  At first it appeared an easy alternative, however, due to the lack of appropriate hotels and meeting places, we have decided that the preparation time was just too short for hosting a successful event.

As several of you were quite keen on attending, we are planning the following:

  • An offer for a 3-4 day hiking trip to Europe’s last and largest beech forest wilderness in the Ukraine 4 -8- October 2016. More details will follow next week.
  • Hosting a sustainable tourism workshop in Uzhhorod, Ukraine in January  2017 to assist in the implementation of the sustainable tourism strategy of the Carpathian Convention. An exact date will be announced at the end of August.
  • All prepayed tickets will be refunded within the next two weeks. New prebooking will be available in October 2016.

The Wilderness Academy Days will be rescheduled to June 2017. The exact date will be announced once we have confirmation from a leading hotel in the region.

We apologize for any inconvenience this rescheduling may have caused and promise to make up for it at the next European Wilderness Academy Days.

Your European Wilderness Society Team

Photos from the Transcarpathian region

Uzzhorod, Western Ukraine

Uzzhorod, Western Ukraine

Latest News

Uzzhorod will host the European Wilderness Academy Days 2016

The beautiful city of Uzzhorod in the western most part of the Ukraine and right in the middle of some of the largest Old Growth Beech Forest in Europe will host the next European Wilderness Academy Days 2016 5 -7- Oct, 2016. Early Bird registration will start middle...

Photos are online!

We just posted the first set of photos from the European Wilderness Days 2015. If you have photos you would like to share please feel free to send them to us.

What others say!

Michael Zika, WWF

The protection and restoration of wilderness and wild areas on the European continent gained more and more attention in the last decades. The importance and value of strictly protected natural habitats governed by natural processes without human intervention in Europe has been widely acknowledged for various reasons like biodiversity, ecosystem functionality and human well-being. The newly founded wilderness grass root organization “European Wilderness Society” did a great job in establishing an European-wide knowledge exchange platform, the Wilderness Academy Days, in 2014. We are looking forward to another exciting event in 2015 to make another step forward for the preservation and rewilding of Europe’s natural heritage.

Michael Zika


Gyula Hegyi, Hungary

Setting up a report on Wilderness in Europe was one of my nicest activities in the European Parliament. It was a so-called “own initiative report”, which means that the EP – mostly its Environmental Committee – proposed the subject and the content. As a rapporteur of it, I could count on the enthusiasm of my fellow parliamentarians beyond their party affiliation. Wilderness sounds strange, exotic and perhaps fearful. But if you learn that Europe has also wilderness, beautiful wilderness, and nearer to your home as you think, you can realize once more how rich and dear our old continent is. Wilderness guards something from the “Primeval nature”, which is evergreen topic of our culture, myths and legends. But wilderness is also a place, where you can travel, where our citizens can find jobs and where our flora and fauna can be studied in its pure forms. And wilderness gives us a certain kind of hope as well. If Europe in her tumultuous past with wars, aggression and without environmental conscience could save at least some part of her territory as “primeval nature”, we, the citizens of the united and peaceful Europe shall not destroy our natural inheritance.

Gyula Hegyi

Former MEP

Herbert Wölger, NP Gesäuse

Gesäuse stands for „Wild Water, Steep Rock”. Since there is a lot of wilderness to discover and to experience, people interested in that are more than welcome.

The Gesäuse National Park is already “more wild” than other National Parks, which is due to the topography, the inaccessibility and relatively remoteness.

The entire area of the Eisenwurzen (border area between Styria, Upper Austria and Lower Austria) is the largest “wild” and near-natural woodland in Austria. It is sparsely populated and a part of the corridor, which connects NE-Europe with Italy via Eisenwurzen, Murau etc.  Eisenwurzen covers 3 Ecosystem Preserves (National Park Kalkalpen, National Park Gesäuse and Wilderness Area Dürrenstein). Several protected areas in between and around work like a buffer zone. Gesäuse is proud to be a cornerstone in this fantastic and wild region.

Herbert Wölger

Direktor, Nationalpark Gesäuse

Manuel Schweiger, Frankfurt Zoological Society

The European debate on wilderness gains momentum: criteria and standards for wilderness areas are highly discussed, showing that the wilderness approach is finally recognized in the professional discourses of nature conservation. At the same time, wilderness remains a topic that touches the hearts. This became obvious through lively discussions and fascinating presentations by enthusiastic wilderness advocates during the last European Wilderness Academy Days. They were a great inspiration and motivation for the day-to-day work and nourish the hope for a promising future of wilderness preservation and development in Europe.

Manuel Schweiger

Frankfurt Zoological Society