The “European Serengeti” reserve of large herbivores was awarded today the prestigious SDGs Award for sustainability in the area of climate protection

2020 - 09 - 17
The “European Serengeti” reserve of large herbivores was awarded today the prestigious SDGs Award for sustainability in the area of climate protection

The unique “European Serengeti” reserve of large herbivores located in the former Milovice military area outside of Prague received a prestigious award this evening. The SDGs Award for climate protection, which is handed out for sustainability, was accepted by the founder of the reserve, Dalibor Dostal.

He received the award for first place in the national round of the competition in this category at the awards ceremony in the gardens of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in Prague. “In the last year and half, it is the third significant award endowed upon this unique reserve. We highly appreciate the fact that nature conservation by means of large herbivores has captivated experts and the public in this way,” said Dostal, reserve founder and director of European Wildlife conservation organization, in expressing his thanks.

The large herbivore reserve was founded in 2015. It currently spreads over an area of about 230 hectares. The reserve uses large indigenous European ungulates in caring for the open, Savanna-like landscape: European bison, wild horses and back-bred aurochs. Grazing by large herbivores is the most suitable method in the care of large open landscape areas. Grazing suppresses aggressive species of grass and encroaching shrubs and makes it possible to maintain suitable biotopes for rare species of flowers, butterflies, birds and other organisms. Moreover, use of the indigenous wild ungulate species is significantly more effective and cheaper than mowing the grasslands or their maintenance in the form of grazing for domestic animals.

The protection of biodiversity was the major goal of the project from the outset. However, in the first years of its implementation, it was revealed that it also has a very positive effect on the area of climate protection. The dung of large ungulates substantially helps regenerate organic matter in the soil. This subsequently improves the soil’s capacity to bind carbon and also improves its water absorption. Grazing by large ungulates thus helps in the adaptation of the landscape to climate change and also has a positive effect on water retention in the landscape.

“In this context, it is necessary to draw attention once again to the fact that planting of trees is not the only action that helps in the battle against climate change. The open landscape grazed by large herbivores has a positive effect not only on the regeneration of biological diversity, but also helps with the adaptation of the landscape to climate change,” said Dostal, adding: “Experts are drawing greater attention to the fact that healthy soil is the important key to stopping climate change. At the same time, the large ungulates help greatly with the regeneration of the soil,” added Dostal.

The European Wildlife conservation organisation is currently organising a campaign to complete the unique reserve. The public and the business community can make donations as part of a charitable fundraising project on the website eurowildlife.org/donate. In 2015, the location became the first place in the world where three key species of large ungulates – wild horses, European bison and back-bred aurochs – are found in one reserve. The reserve has grown from initial 40 hectares to 230 hectares, and another 120 hectares are to be incorporated in its final phase.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by 193 countries in September 2015, outlines a framework for a better global future by 2030. The SDG framework provides a roadmap for businesses to take action on some of the most pressing issues confronting our world in the pursuit of a more prosperous, inclusive and peaceful world. Global SDG Awards is an international sustainability competition that honors outstanding business contributions to the United Nations SDGs and Global Goals.

 

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