European Wilderness Days 2017

24 -26 May, 2017, Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia

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.

The European Wilderness Academy Days 2017 will be held in the High Tatras, Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia from the 24-26 May 2017.

Your European Wilderness Society Team

Photos from the Tatras

Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia

Liptovsky Hradok

Latest News

Programme updated

The programme has been updated on the programme page. A PDF version is available here!

Icon of wilderness Marija Zupancic Vicar

We are honored that Marija Zupancic Vicar, a living "legendary person" of conservation, especially protected areas and "fighter" for wilderness and ecosystem protection, will be present at the European Wilderness Academy Days. She was also the director of the Triglav...

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

WWF

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