Protecting Wilderness

After collecting stories, concepts, experiences, and attitudes of Wilderness, we take the next step. The history, definition and role of Wilderness varies around the world. But one thing is common: Wilderness is under threat. From Europe, which has been altered extensively by humans centuries ago, to the Amazon, which is being burnt down at a record rate right now. No matter if it is searching for the small patches of land unaltered by humans in a densely populated area or fighting for the last big stretches of Wilderness in the world – we must protect Wilderness! But how? How can we identify Wilderness, promote appropriate policies and steward it? And all within an economic system that gives zero value to wild nature?

The presentations below collect projects and best-practice examples for Wilderness stewardship, policy, and and other conservation topics.

Keynote dialogue: “Do we need to protect Wilderness?” – Max A. E. Rossberg, John Hausdoerffer, Gao Shan and Geoff Law

Keynote speakers of the week Max A. E. Rossberg, John Hausdoerffer, Gao Shan and Geoff Law discuss definition of Wilderness and what protection it should have. A profound discussion includes ideas from different cultures, countries and continents.

Conservation Through Ecotourism in Borneo, Indonesia – Indah Sartika Sari

Indah Sartika Sari is currently a MSc Student of Conservation and .Biodiversity, University of Exeter. She has worked as a Opportunities & Visit Coordinator in Borneo Nature Foundation, Field Course Coordinator in partnership with Beyond Exploration and Biodiversity Project Coordinator within Yayasan Planet Indonesia. Indah presented about student field trips to Borneo rainforest and how that helps local communities. She explained how sustainable tourism can benefit societies who are trying to protect nature. It’s both beneficial to students and locals.

Ecological network for the species dependent on old trees – Dalia Bastytė-Cseh

Dalia Bastytė – Cseh is a nature conservation specialist and a project manager in Lithuanian Fund for Nature. Main area of her work is biodiversity conservation. Currently she is a project manager of LIFE Nature project “Ecological network for Osmoderma eremita and other species dependent on veteran trees”. The presentation explains the project LIFE Osmoderma. Its main goal is to create a functional ecological network for the fascinating hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita) and other species dependent on deciduous veteran trees by habitat management in the core habitats for the species, development of stepping stone elements within the network area and re-establishing hermit beetle populations in the restored historical habitats of the species.

Wildlife in cities – a citizens perspective – Navaz Sharif

This presentation is about saving wildlife from in and around the city of Bangalore, including deer, cobras, pangolins, bats, white cheeked barbet, tortoises, terrapins and turtles. Saving wildlife is done through a 4R process- rescue, recovery, rehabilitation and release. Key to wildlife conservation is involving the community, which is done through inviting schools to come and visit for educational purposes and also through the PFA heroes youth and community scheme which helps to keep Dr. Shariff’s team informed about wildlife in Bangalore.

European Ranger Federation – Urs Reif

Urs Reif – when in 2014 the Black Forest National park was established I got a job there as chief ranger. My duty was to establish and build up the ranger system in the new national park. In 2015 I began helping in working groups of the German ranger association concerning international exchange and working groups. Our park was strongly supporting the new establishment of the ERF for which we organized a workshop in 2015, which was the baseline for the new establishment. Formed in 2017, the European Ranger Federation (ERF) is a European networking organization for professional rangers and others involved in the day-to-day management of protected areas; the conservation of wildlife and habitats; visitor safety; education and interpretation; law enforcement and anti-poaching activities.

Wildlife rescue center in Paraguay – Marta Villasán Barroso

Marta Villasán Barroso is currently Director of Development of Programs and Projects of Fauna & Vida and works actively to achieve the objectives of the association, such as the rescue center, the environmental education and training unit, and
other research projects. Fauna & Vida – since 2015, non-profit organization of Asunción, capital of Paraguay, created in order to carry out activities for the benefit of the wildlife wealth of Paraguay and biodiversity in general. It is taken as the initial institutional mission to work for conservation, through knowledge, awareness and determined action using the study of native wildlife as a strategic tool, in addition to other activities related to raising awareness of civil society through environmental education.

Research and protection of European wilderness with REMOTE – Ondrej Kameniar

REMOTE (REsearch on MOuntain TEmperate Primary Forests is a long term international scientific collaboration since 2010, led by department of Forest Ecology at Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague. The general objective of the project, largest of its kind in Europe, is to better understand the disturbance dynamics, forest structure, biomass patterns and biodiversity in remaining primary forests in temperate Europe.

Projects: Centralparks & BEECH POWER – Hanna Öllös

Interreg Centralparks – Building management capacities of Carpathian protected areas for the integration and harmonization of biodiversity protection and local socio-economic development. Interreg BEECH POWER: World Heritage BEECH Forests: emPOWERing and catalyzing an ecosystem-based Sustainable Development. These two projects are presented in the talk.

Burning biomass as a threat to Wilderness – Zoltan Kun

Zoltan Kun (M) a wilderness advocate and WCPA member, who works with various civil society organisations such as FZS, PFPI, Wild Europe on the field of nature conservation. Right now, EU policymakers are making critical decisions on how we respond to the climate and biodiversity crises, how we generate energy, and how we protect nature and biodiversity. These decisions will impact us for decades to come. Now is the time to let EU officials know: burning wood for fuel is a disaster for forests and the climate and is not what people want for “renewable energy”.

Wilderness mapping in China – Yue Cao

Cao Yue received his bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Tsinghua University (2014) and expects to receive his doctoral degree (in January 2021) in Landscape Architecture at Tsinghua University. He was invited to collaborate and join the Wilderness Specialist Group (IUCN), the Rewilding Thematic Group (IUCN), Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (US) and the Wildland Research Institute (UK). Mapping environmental indicators along a continuum of human modification provides key information for wilderness protection. It is found that China is a highly wild country in parts, containing over 86,000 wilderness patches, with varying relative wilderness qualities, which covers approximately 42% of China’s terrestrial area. About 77% of the existing wilderness patches are not covered by nature reserves, indicating the obvious conservation gaps of China’s wilderness areas.

WISDOM: effective wilderness ranger public contact – Ralph Swain

Ralph Swain is the Regional Wilderness and Rivers Program Manager of the Rocky Mountain Region in January 2000. As Regional Wilderness Program Manager, he is responsible for the administration of 47 wilderness areas covering 5 million acres in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and eastern Wyoming.  Ralph also oversees the administration of two Wild and Scenic Rivers; the Cache la Poudre (in Colorado) and the Clarks Fork River (in Wyoming). WISDOM was developed by Ralph Swain to help teach inexperienced, newly employed rangers and managers at recently established protected areas how to welcome visitors, educate them to the rules and regulations governing the wilderness area and provide helpful tips to stay safe while making professional public contacts that leave a lasting impression on visitors to wild lands. WISDOM is a six-step process for effective wilderness ranger public contacts.