On March 7th 2018, Humane Society International/Europe, Luonto-Liiton susiryhmä and Eurogroup for Animals organised an event at the European Parliament to discuss the various possible solutions and strategies that member states have at their disposal to achieve long term coexistence with large carnivores for the benefit of people and wildlife conservation.
The event explored the obstacles and challenges EU citizens whether farmers, breeders, locals or hunters face, which may prevent them from successfully coexisting with bears, wolves and other large carnivores. A number of my images were used by these charities and conservation experts at the European Parliament to address the issue of coexisting with large carnivores.
Publication of the report on Large Carnivore, Management Plans of Protection: Best Practices in EU Member States can be seen here. To listen to the event that was filmed live then please click here to be taken to the event
I have been helping and supporting Luonto-Liiton susiryhmä with my imagery for a number of years now and it was wonderful to have my photographs used to form part of a presentation at this event at the European Parliament hosted by Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (EPP), President of the European Parliament’s Inter group on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals. I support these wonderful organisations to hopefully help these incredible Wolves and other large carnivores to live in harmony alongside man – Nuorten Luonto, Wolf action group WOLFE-Fakten –
“The Wolf Action Group of the Finnish Nature League strives to spread factual information about the wolf as a social and family-oriented animal, to influence attitudes and to reduce unnecessary fear and hatred of wolves. The group has participated in the building of fences to protect domestic animals from wolves and has organized, among other things, trail excursions in Finland and abroad. In Finland, so far wolf conservation has failed, even though the wolf is classified as a highly endangered species. Despite conservation measures, the wolf population has not grown. Poaching is unfortunately still a commonplace occurrence. Is it impossible for wolves and humans to coexist peacefully? The most important single measure in wolf conservation is keeping the existing wolf packs intact. Only in a coherent pack can wolves hunt their natural prey, such as elk and deer.”
In a recent interview for Luonto-Liiton susiryhma I tried to use the examples I’ve seen here in the UK of the cruel levels of persecution and removal of our large predators; Wolves- Bears Lynx etc as what will be coming should the current trends of killing continue. Part of the interview can be read below –
“I visit many places around the world and see amazing work from locals to save what wildlife they have. I always speak as a guest and not as someone who knows better than those on the ground in their native country. The best nature-people are those locals and once you engage with them and help them, then anything is possible. Here in the UK we have almost hunted and killed everything that lives in our countryside. We are overrun with introduced species and non-native animals that are often killing our native wildlife. My hope by doing this article is for the people of Finland not to follow in our footsteps and kill everything, to then regret this and try to reintroduce what once roamed free. It’s better to save what is left with positive education, engagement of locals and help from government. I have travelled to Finland for several years; I love the country and its friendly, peaceful people. You have some of the world’s most amazing wildlife that needs your help before they are consigned to the history books. Please don’t let it be this way because an almost soulless countryside as we have here in the UK isn’t the answer”
Click on the following link to be taken to their site and read the full interview. I’ve visited Finland for several years now and you can see all the blog posts I’ve written with more information on where I go and who I work with and why by clicking onto this link.
It is my intention to use my images of the natural world to bring people’s awareness of what beautiful wildlife we have on our doorstep and all around us and the importance of conservation and the need to preserve and protect all wildlife. Presenting this in a way that invokes beauty, mood and emotion to bring about a positive reaction and change that benefits the natural world and in turn ourselves.
Every animal on this planet has the right to live without the fear of being killed at the hands of humans. Changing mindsets, education and empowering people to save and protect what they live alongside is key.