WILD10

On October 4-8 2013 I attended WILD10, the 10th World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain. The congres is held once in four years and is a gathering of environmentalists, nature conservationists, scientists, politicians, writers, photographers, hunters, sailors, etc. from all over the world with one common passion: love for nature. This event has started in South Africa in 1977 and was originated by Dr. Ian Player, the founder of the Wilderness Leadership School. Special emphasis was given this time to the Rewilding Europe initiative.The return of wild nature across Europe – wilderness, wildness and wildlife on land and in the sea, from the biggest cities to the most remote corners of the continent is well-documented. This is occurring for many reasons, not the least because conservation works in Europe in combination with favourable socio-economic and demographic changes. It offers a singular opportunity for Europeans to both re-shape our own relationship with the nature upon which we rely for health, prosperity and enjoyment, as well as to create a modern-day model from which other countries and regions can gain inspiration and practical guidance. If we can show that wild nature can successfully and remarkably return on the world's most densely populated continent, we have a message of hope and real potential for a wilder world.

Yes, wild nature is returning, but Europe’s environment is far from perfect and much work is needed for us to redirect unwise exploitation, save the remaining wildlands and seas, and rewild areas that can help recreate a better, more fascinating, richer Europe.

We have in Holland a beautiful example: the Oostvaardersplassen., of which recently a very successful movie has been made, The New Wilderness.

Boy van Droffelaar 2012