EU Large Carnivore Platform Meeting: Comparing good practice across the EU

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The fifth annual meeting of the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores took place yesterday in Brussels. The Platform brings together representatives from landowning, herding, hunting, research and conservation organisations to “promote ways and means to minimize and find solutions to conflicts between people and large carnivores”. The Plenary meeting is the annual opportunity for the Platform members to review their work plan and agree the next years’ work.

EU Large Carnivore Platform Plenary Meeting: Comparing good practice across the EU

The agenda started with a situation review, examining large carnivore status across the EU. The IUCN Species Specialist Group – the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE) has carried out a major information gathering exercise to bring together and analyse the information on large carnivore numbers, ranges, damages and threats to conservation. An early version of the results was presented to the Platform members, full results will be ready published later this year. Linked to this item, the Platform reviewed how protection measures are being implemented in the EU and how member states fund such measures through national or European funding.

The work of national and regional large carnivore platforms and how the EU Platform can support, exchange with, and learn from them were also discussed. A final item on the agenda was a review of information on fear and risk associated with large carnivores. The Platform discussed good practices for addressing the fear of large carnivores.

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Humberto Delgado-Rosa, Director for Natural Capital, DG Environment, who co-chairs the meeting for the European Commission, said:

The focus of this group on coexistence is very important. The Platform supports constructive dialogue without neglecting socio-economic impacts. We understand well that there is real hardship associated with the presence of large carnivores, particularly for livestock managers in some locations, and targeted support is needed. With the establishment of regional platforms in different member states, the role of the EU Platform to link these initiatives in conflict areas becomes increasingly important.

Thierry de l’Escaille, Secretary General of the European Landowners Organization and co-chair of the Platform said: “The Platform provides a useful forum for bringing together a range of different interests to discuss some of the issues surrounding coexistence with large carnivores. Useful discussions have taken place on a number of conflict issues, such as how to finance protection measures for livestock and beekeepers and also the increasingly important issue of fear of large carnivores. We hope that by providing balanced, impartial information on these issues, we can promote constructive dialogue between different interest groups.”

EU Platform Large Carnivores members

To learn more about the platform on the Coexistence between people and large carnivores please visit the platform website.