I can easily say that for me September this year was the ‘bison month’. At the beginning of this month, I participated at the annual European bison conference in Poland where we discussed the status and progress on the return of Europe’s largest living land mammal. Then, I travelled all the way to Canada to show the North American bison conservationists what we are doing over here in Europe to support our own bison species, and learn from the work done on the American bison. It turns out that there are quite some similarities between our intercontinental stories about these iconic animals.
Tag: Yvonne Kemp
A further ten inspiring rewilding initiatives have joined the European Rewilding Network since the official launch of the network at WILD10 in Spain, on October 9, 2013. Right now, the European Rewilding Network comprises of thirty members and a number of further local initiatives in several more countries are lining up to join. Members have also begun to exchange expertise and best practices on rewilding issues directly with each other. The first experience-sharing event in which all members are warmly welcomed to participate will take place in April.
A fresh sunny autumn morning in the late October of 2013 in the Studen Kladenets (Cold Well) Game Reserve in South-East Bulgaria. The colours of the trees are like the design of blankets made by the locals in this region: from green through yellow and reddish to brown. The morning haze is slowly moving from the top of the Yumruk Skala (Feast Rock) down to the smaller hills. The narrow asphalt road along the recently fenced area of a few hectares is almost completely blocked by cars and people.
At the time of the previous World Wilderness Congress in 2009, I was quite busy becoming an ecologist in the lecture rooms of the VU University in Amsterdam. Just four years later I find myself sitting amongst great colleagues in a huge conference hall in Salamanca, listening to the closing remarks of what has been the 10th edition of this Congress, the world’s longest-running international conservation event. And what an inspiring experience it has been! Let me just make a little trip down memory lane about how wonderful WILD10 really was.
In a recent, three-day period I had wild encounters of similar sorts on two continents. Both encounters tell a story of past and current “re-wilding,” enabled through the vision and dedication of people and organizations that understand the essential role of wildness in a healthy and sane planet earth. We need these positive stories as much as we need the return of wildness that they chronicle.