Posted by: Jennifer Scarlott on
Oct 05, 2013
The 10th World Wilderness Congress (WILD10) is in full swing in the magnificent, medieval city of Salamanca in northwest Spain. Day one, (10/4) began with a traditional blessing by indigenous people from Montana and Brazil. Spanish officials welcomed the WILD10 delegates to Spain, and expressed strong support for rewilding Europe.
WILD10 is the first World Wilderness Congress to occur in Europe, and there will be a strong focus throughout the cconference on conservation efforts and challenges in Europe. There are a number of efforts to stem the slide of biodiversity in Europe -- Natura 2000, the Rewilding Europe organization, and many small, local initiatives -- that offer some reason to hope that some amount of healthy intact wild landscapes and depleted species can be restored.
Day one of the Congress offered a sweeping view of efforts around the world to combat climate change as well as damaging industrial and land use projects on land and in the oceans. The Nature Needs Half concept (www.natureneedshalf.org) received particular attention. Speaker Harvey Locke, an adviser to the WILD Foundation on conservation of large landscapes, made an energetic case for preserving 50 percent of the earth's surface for wild nature.