3: Conservation Vision for Europe

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Resolutions

View Resolution 3: Conservation Vision for Europe
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  1. Conservation Vision for Europe

    I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks for the research and hard work that has gone into this resolution.

    I would like to make some comments:

    Privately owned land:
    Point 38 mentions privately owned land. However, there is no mention of Common Land in Europe, which is not all privately owned as 1,900 commons in the UK have NO KNOWN OWNERS.

    It might be of interest for research to be done on Common Land in Europe, starting with the UK as common land can provide important habitat for protected birds, wildlife and plants.

    Around 3% of the land area of England is recognised as common land (373,570 ha) and it does not include the New Forest, Epping Forest and other areas., which when added would make a total of 399,040 ha of common land in England alone. 48% (176,500 ha) of registered common land lies within national parks. Over half of England’s common land is in Cumbria and North Yorkshire 31% and 21%, 116,500 and 76,900 ha, respectively.

    Common land is an important nature conservation asset. Almost all the commons in England and Wales support semi-natural vegetation. Much of this is of high nature conservation value reflected in the proportion of commons designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and under EU Directives

    88% of common land is nationally or internationally designated for environmental reasons, and virtually all provides a statutory right of access on foot.

    Approximately 8.4% of Wales is covered by registered common land amounting to around 175,000 hectares contained in around 8675 separate commons. . Many commons in Wales are enjoyed for their leisure and environmental interests. Some are in National Parks or are owned by the National Trust.

    Wales has its own Registration Authority.

    Wildlife Tourism: Would Nature Tourism not be a better term as this includes more than wildlife watching, e.g. adventure activities, mountaineering.


    In a new report commissioned in 2010 by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) nature-based tourism is worth at least £1.4bn a year to the Scottish economy and supports the equivalent of 39,000 full time jobs. Wildlife tourism brings in £127m and is the main driver behind more than one million trips to Scotland each year. Activities include bird watching, whale watching, guided walks and practical conservation holidays. Among the contributors is dolphin watching on the east coast, which generates at least £4m a year to the local economy, while sea eagles on Mull bring in around £2m.

    For a country like Scotland one of the main attractions are the landscape, its culture and its people. Cultural activites and sites are not included in the £1.4bn a year to the Scottish economy.

    Cultural and sacred sites in nature: If the cultural and/or spiritual significance of sites and of nature would be more emphasises, then the additional income potential would probably entice more visitors as well as investment in such areas, especially in the context of today’s financial crisis and in a need to keep rural areas alive and offering sustainable livelihoods. Another benefit of nature and cultural tourism: it will stem the tide of people moving to cities.

    Sites of cultural and/or spiritual significance in PAs: The Majella National Park (Abruzzo, Italy) has 40 major sites of spiritual significance on its territory and attracts a million more visitors than the nearby Abruzzo National Park. Considering that each visitor spends 180€ on visits, accommodation and food, such sites benefit the Park and local area greatly.

    An example related to Wilderness: The Italian Wilderness Association (AIW)has been instrumental in having more than 60’000 hectares protected (as wilderness areas, type 1a) by local councils. In comparison the PA of the Abruzzo National Park comprises 49,680 ha. Bit by bit AIW has been able to call for protection of these area. Many of these wilderness areas are part of PAs but with less stricter ‘requirements’ – The AIW’s efforts in securing wilderness areas shows what can be done with minimal funding. As such AIW has set a good precedent.

    With appreciation and kind regards,


  2. Sorry for expanding so much on Common Lands.

    This suggestion is strictly related to this Resolution:

    May I suggest the notion of transboundary conservation areas. This could be include e.g. in THEREFORE

    CONFIRMING that enlarged and transboundary landscape scale thinking is necessary to expand and make more effective conservation decisions, and

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