(10 June 2014) – In an effort to solve the social and economic problems that sometimes result from the expansion of large carnivores, the European Commission has launched a platform where farmers, conservationists, hunters, landowners and scientists can exchange ideas and best practices on sharing the same land with these animals.
Europe’s brown bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx – at least one of these species can now be found in 21 EU Member States. After a lengthy period of decline their numbers are growing once more, but coexistence with man can be problematic.
According to the Commission, the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores will support constructive dialogue between key stakeholder organisations at the European level.
The issue involves a diversity of stakeholders such as hunters, foresters, livestock producers, reindeer herders, landowners, rural communities, conservation organizations and the wider public. These groups are influenced by and perceive large carnivores in different ways, and in some cases these differences can be a source of conflict. The platform will facilitate exchanges of knowledge and promote ways and means to minimize, and wherever possible, find equitable solutions to these conflicts.
The platform launched today follows a number of efforts to understand the conflicts between stakeholders over large carnivores, the results of which were set out in a report.