Newly elected members of European Parliament recently convened to update their mandates, and steps were taken reestablish a working group focused on hunting and conservation issues.
Originally established in 1985, the Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside Intergroup serves as a platform for members of European Parliament to engage with stakeholders and citizens to discuss and affirm the crucial role that rural communities play in conservation and the cultural and financial importance of hunting. The reestablishment of this group indicates that members of European Parliament are serious about considering the political importance of hunting and conservation issues.
Legislation driven by the Intergroup has a decisive impact on environmental policies across Europe, so the Intergroups commitment to promoting the role of sustainable hunting in conservation and supporting the interests of hunters by giving them a voice in the decision-making process bodes well for the future of hunting in Europe.
The Intergroup works closely with both the European Federation of Hunting and Conservation (FACE) and the European Landowners Organization. Dr. David Scallan, Secretary General of FACE, emphasized the important role hunters play in conservation, stating “Europe is facing many challenges regarding biodiversity, sustainable land use and wildlife management. Hunters and other rural actors are key for the implementation of successful environmental policies.”
The Intergroup has hosted a variety of educational events and conferences in past years and has typically been one of the more active Intergroups in European Parliament. Involvement in the Intergroup is open to all Members of Parliament willing to protect and enhance biodiversity, promote wildlife and nature conservation, uphold the principles of sustainable hunting and wildlife management, contribute to the economic and social prosperity of rural areas, and to raise awareness on the role of land users such as farmers, foresters, and hunters to halt biodiversity loss.
“It’s encouraging to see the commitment that members of Parliament are making towards the stewardship of wild places and wild things, and their dedication to including hunting as a vital component of conservation is promising for the future of hunting across Europe” said Ben Cassidy, SCI’s Director of Government Affairs.