Twenty-two Californians attended this conference, including several from our local area to talk about coastal issues. The local state marine park has been protecting our local Cambria area for more than five years. A collaborative fishing program has allowed scientists and fishermen volunteers to go out on commercial boats and catch and release fish to gather data. They have sampled 44,000 fish over the past five years, seeing fish species and bigger, fatter fish than they have seen in years. Tribal leaders also attended, to advocate for researching their traditional fishery practices with regard to sustainability.
WILD10, the 10th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), is the most recent in what has become the longest-running, international, public conservation project. It is a two-three year process of collaboration between many groups, governments, experts in all fields, community representatives, businesses, scientists, artists and more. Clearly, wild nature is under threat all over the world, and human society needs to change if we are to solve the issues in front of us. There are also good stories to tell, ones that tell us who we are, and where we need to go. We can do it!
What makes the WWC…and WILD10…different and effective? First, it is not just a “conference,” rather it is a process of collaboration aimed towards practical results for wild nature and people; using a positive, inclusive approach to problem solving; emphasizing intergenerational solutions; recognizing that culture is equally as important as good policy, effective resource management, and state-of-the-art science; and involving a great diversity of people and professions who understand the importance of wild nature to a healthy and prosperous human society — from tribal communities to heads of state, Nobel Laureates to local activists, scientists and artists, and more. When the 10th WWC actually convenes, part of it may look like a conference, but if the process works then it is much more, and the practical results and outcomes will be matched by a sense of inspiration, hope, and action.
From 4-10 October, 2013, the WILD10 process will culminate in Salamanca, in Western Spain, where some 1500 or more delegates from many countries will converge, joined by many thousands more on-line, for 7 days of varied and exciting activities, announcements, cultural events, trainings, associated meetings and symposia, and more.