Large carnivore conservation is a topic that involves a diversity of stakeholders that includes hunters, foresters, livestock producers, reindeer herders, landowners, rural people, conservation organisations and the wider public. All these groups are influenced by and perceive large carnivores in different ways, and in some cases these differences can be the foundation of conflicts. The Commission has been conducting a range of activities to promote a constructive dialogue between stakeholders with a hope of reducing the level of conflict around large carnivores.
On 10 June 2014, the European Commission hosted the launch event and the first working session of the EU platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores in the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Brussels.
High-level representatives of eight stakeholder organizations signed an agreement on the key principles of engagement in the activities of the Platform, under the auspices of Commissioner Janez Potočnik. You can read the full agreement between the organisations involved in the Platform here.
The original text, as agreed and signed is only in English and therefore this is the authentic language version.
Ms Pia Bucella co-chaired the meeting on behalf of DG Environment. Mr. Thierry d’Escaille of ELO was elected as co-chair for the first two years (represented by Ms. Delphine Dupeux at the meeting). Ms. Annabelle Jaeger, Member of the CoR from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, welcomed the participants of the event. You can read the press release here.
The Platform held its 1st working session in the afternoon of the day of the launch, when the Terms of Reference were adopted. The members of the Platform started a discussion of the elements of a working plan for the coming year. Listen to the recorded web-streaming of the event.
A first step towards the successful establishment of the Platform has been to come up with a detailed understanding of the conflicts between stakeholders over large carnivores.
This has been followed by a number of workshops involving both small groups and large groups of stakeholders. The largest was held in early 2013 and involved almost 100 stakeholders from all across Europe.
A second stakeholder workshop on EU action on large carnivores organized by DG Environment took place on 5 December 2013. Some 90 representatives from the hunters and herders communities, agricultural associations, environmental organizations, local and national governments and scientists from all over Europe gathered in Brussels in order to discuss the possibility of a platform for dialogues on large carnivores, to share experiences among different countries. This proposal was welcomed by the interest groups. The first drafts of sets of key conservation actions for each population of large carnivore species were also discussed.