Four of the large carnivore species existing in Europe are among the most challenging group of species in conservation terms on an EU level: brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and wolverines (Gulo gulo). On the one hand, this is because of their biological needs, especially their large ranges which cross borders. On the other hand, they are controversial because they potentially conflict with human economic activities such as farming and hunting and in rare cases threaten human safety.
The sometimes problematic relationship between humans and large carnivores stands in the way of achieving the aims of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). In an effort to improve this coexistence and tackle the social and economic problems that can come with large carnivores' expansion in range and numbers, the European Commission in June 2014, launched the Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores. With this Platform, landowners, herders, conservationists, hunters, and scientists can exchange ideas and best practices.
The following seven organisations sit on the Platform: CIC – The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation; ELO - European Landowners’ Organization; EUROPARC Federation; FACE – The European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation; Joint representatives of Finnish and Swedish Reindeer Herders; IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature, European Union Representative Office; and WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature, European Policy Office. Together, they agreed to a set of core principles for working together. These include working within the legal EU framework; using scientific evidence; recognising socio-economic and cultural considerations; and engaging in constructive dialogue and cooperation.
Together with Callisto, adelphi led the Platform secretariat for the European Commission since its creation in 2015. The Secretariat is tasked with organising the Platform work programme in close collaboration with the chair, ELO and the members. In 2017, a core task was to carry out a deeper analysis of the already-gathered case studies, in order to identify the key needs for peaceful coexistence. This report is now available on the Platform website. In addition, the members were supported in the implementation of the communication plan. This included the production of materials (press releases, a leaflet, and a social-media kit); support with developing common positions; support with presenting the Platform at events as well as managing the website, online library and case studies presentation. As in previous years, an annual meeting in Brussels and workshops in the member states were organised.