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“The Wildlife Estates initiative” Geva Blackett The European Biodiversity Conference The Engagement of the Private Sector in favour of Biodiversity Conservation.

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Presentation on theme: "“The Wildlife Estates initiative” Geva Blackett The European Biodiversity Conference The Engagement of the Private Sector in favour of Biodiversity Conservation."— Presentation transcript:

1 “The Wildlife Estates initiative” Geva Blackett The European Biodiversity Conference The Engagement of the Private Sector in favour of Biodiversity Conservation 1 December 2009 – European Parliament, Brussels

2 The birth of the Initiative How to balance hunting & civilian activities 2003 – “Think Tank” at La Converserie, Belgium (Claude Delbeuk, DG Natural Resources and the Environment for Wallonia, the Crown Hunting Grounds BE); Francis Forget, National Estate of Chambord FR and Michel Reffay National Office for Hunting & Wildlife FR) 2004 – 2 nd meeting 2005 – ELO with DG Environment support become organisational body and pilot Wildlife Estates initiative born

3 Wildlife Estates initiative (WEi) The WEi Label has been developed to recognise and promote the exemplary management of territories in the EU where there is land managed for hunting and fishing activities.

4 How to get the label ? Evaluation of the management of estates Application form: a common core, with subsidiarity  1st level : Charter (10 commitments)  2nd level : Application forms (by bio-geographical region) reference made to “local” codes of good practices an organisation at member state level for : - the selection of the evaluators -a certain degree of adaptation of the application files - a part of the communication on the WEi

5 Approaching the end of the “experimental” & testing stage Application forms finalised for the following bio geographical regions : – Atlantic – Continental – Mediterranean – Boreal Work still to be done on Alpine & Pannonic regions At what stage are we now ?

6 A booklet describing the WE initiative Website (www.wildlife-estates.eu)www.wildlife-estates.eu One working session and one plenary session each year This initiative needs the support of many European and national stakeholders in order to establish a credible and sustainable label. Indeed, European territories are highlighted not only for their sustainable fishing and hunting management but also as an efficient tool to preserve biodiversity.

7 Commissioner Dimas “I very much welcome independent initiatives such as ELO’s Wildlife Estates initiative which promote such synergies between conservation and sustainable use and I hope that many wildlife and hunting estates will join the initiative”

8 Scotland (Ecosse) Land area = 78,800 km2 2% of land mass = urban 60% of 5.1 million population live in “central belt” Population density in Highlands and Island = 9.5 per km2 Diversity of terrestrial and marine habitats supports some 90,000 species of animals, plants and microbes Hunting estates = 43% of privately owned land = largest concentration of land dedicated to hunting in Europe. ½ country owned by 608; 18 own 10% of Scotland

9 Invercauld Estate – 44,000 hectares In the heart of the Cairngorms National Park (380,000 hectares), managed primarily for hunting: 22 full time employees (14 gamekeepers) 150 kilometres of hill vehicle tracks 56 bridges 100+ species of fungi 120+ species of birds 50 BAP species Invercauld Estate

10 13 x SSSI 4 x SPA 5 x SAC 2 x NSA 1 x Core Capercaillie Area

11 Invercauld and Wei Atlantic AND Boreal Natura 2000 designations plus others Red deer, golden eagles, Scottish crossbill, black grouse, Atlantic salmon, Burnet moth etc, etc

12 Moorland birds A specific example of the benefits Moorland is an important breeding or feeding habitat for 57 bird species, of which eight occur in internationally important numbers in the UK and 12 are listed in Annex 1 of the EC Birds Directive 1979 The most protected moorland specialist birds are: Red list: Hen Harrier, Black grouse (also a Biodiversity Action Plan species), and Ring Ouzel. Amber list: Golden eagle, Merlin, Red grouse, Dotterel, Lapwing, Dunlin, Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Short eared owl, Grouse moors typically have five times as many golden plover and lapwing and about twice as many curlews as unmanaged moors.

13 Heather moorland is rarer than rainforest and 75% of it is found in Northern Britain.

14 Invasive species The estate controls invasive species

15 Game and fish population census Detailed records of game, fish and other species are kept – stakeholders such as RSPB regularly perform counts too Grouse Shooting: 2,595 brace1978 3,485 brace1988 3,842 brace brace2008 Overheads 2008:Stalking/Grouse£760,000 Income 2008:£200,000 Deficit:£560,000

16 Invercauld and WEi Castles and folklore

17 The sum total Every job in the Braemar area (pop = c450) is dependant on the management of local estates. Direct employment: estate staff (office, gamekeepers, forestry, maintenance) Indirect employment: shops, accommodation providers, wildlife tourism operators

18 The future ‘The wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please, we have it in trust, we must account for it for those that come after.‘ King George VI

19 Thank you


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