A new NGO established in Finland advocates the introduction of species like European bison in an effort to ‘rewild’ the Nordic country.
A new nature NGO has been established in Finland as part of the international ‘rewilding’ movement, which aims to preserve and expand wilderness areas by reintroducing apex predators and protecting their habitats.
Rewilding Finland aims to join the Europe-wide organisation Rewilding Europe. In its first press release it suggests the introduction of European bison and wild horse species to Finland, claiming they would be present in Finland if human activity hadn’t drastically reduced their populations.
Making Europe a ‘wilder place’
“Industrial agriculture has impoverished our natural environment by eliminating these plant and animal species,” Joni Valkila, a founder member of Rewilding Finland, told Yle. “We could repair the situation by reintroducing large mammals that belong in this environment.”
The organisation’s founders said that existing wildlife and nature organisations do important work, but a new association was necessary to focus on starting a discussion about improving the diversity of Finnish wildlife.
The European umbrella body Rewilding Europe describes its mission as making Europe a ‘wilder place’, adding that it recognises the ‘crucially important’ role of large carnivores such as bears.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Canada listed among threatened World Heritage Sites,Radio Canada International
Finland: As sea ice gets scarcer, polar bear attacks on people become more frequent, Yle News
Iceland: Can environmental diplomacy save Arctic languages?, Blog by Takeshi Kaji
Norway: Less seal on the menu for hungry polar bears in Svalbard, Norway, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: More than 200 polar bears assembled on beach in Arctic Russia, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Preserving biodiversity in Sweden’s shrinking natural forests, Radio Sweden