10,000 hectares of Wilderness

PAN Parks Foundation was set up to protect the last remaining pieces of truly untouched areas in Europe, by creating a network of well-managed wilderness parks which would provide a unique experience for visitors. Wilderness conservation in Europe has been largely ignored in the past and such areas are in danger of being lost. PAN Parks Foundation’s ambition is to bring one million hectares of European wilderness into guaranteed protection, safeguarding it for future generations, by 2015.

PAN Parks Foundation certifies areas to recognise their wilderness excellence and management effectiveness. These areas protect threatened species and also play a key role in minimising the impact of climate change. The goal of this project, is to certify the Kure Mountain National Park and so safeguard 10,000ha of wilderness for Europe. This would provide protection for its extensive old growth forests and its endemic wildlife, as well as ensure the necessary space and freedom for iconic species such as the brown bear and the wolf.

This will be achieved by:

  • Working with stakeholders to ensure the certification of 10,000Ha of wilderness in the Kure Mountain National Park
  • Developing a Sustainable Development Strategy to address sustainable tourism development with local partners, to ensure outdoor activities benefit the park and local communities
  • Developing a thematic trail and 5 new information boards to enable visitors and outdoor enthusiasts to appreciate, understand and experience true wilderness, whilst ensuring that their behaviour contributes to the preservation of this area.

The Update

The PAN Parks pre-verification process was implemented by an internationally recognised consultant between May and July 2011.  This included desk research, field assessments, meetings and workshops with local stakeholders.  As a result of the pre-verification process, both the PAN Parks Wilderness Area and the PAN Parks Region have been identified within the Kure Mountain National Park, and all the relevant stakeholders have been informed and trained properly about PAN Parks verification and the importance of wilderness protection in the Kure Mountain National Park, as well as about the possibilities of sustainable tourism development.  In addition, a Sustainable Development Strategy has been created for the region.  Following the completion of all the necessary preparatory work and upon the National Parks fulfillment of all the prerequisites, the park is now ready for the final verification process, which will be carried out in November 2011, and reported back to EOCA by April 2012.

Please click here for a link to a short video about the National Park.

Click here for an update on the verification process of the Pan Park, supplied on 17 April 2012.

In June 2012, the project is complete – and the project exceeded its expectations.  Not 10,000 hectares, but 22,283 hectares of wilderness in Kure Mountains National Park – a biodiversity hotspot in Turkey-have secured protection through this project.  Pan Parks final report states that “without the funding from EOCA this achievement, which our Turkish partners and PAN Parks worked really hard on since 2006 could not have been accomplished”

In addition, a Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy has been developed for the area and adopted by local partners in the project, one thematic trail focusing on wilderness has been built, and a map and 5 information boards have been designed and displayed to explain the importance of wilderness projection.