Photo by Saga Sandin / WWF
Staffan Widstrand and Magnus Lundgren have been awarded the WWF Panda book of the Year Award 2017 for Ett vildare liv (”A Wilder Life”) A magnificent coffee-table book about the return of the wild, often called “rewilding”.
The book is a tribute to the amazing biodiversity that exists in Europe’s nature, but also about the need to recreate nature. It is about effective nature conservation – but also about actively reintroducing animal species like wild horses, aurochs and European bison which we lost a long time ago.
The jury’s motivation reads: ”The authors take us along a European odyssey with a number of examples of how wildlife can come back and that much more than we imagine is actually possible. The book offers amazing images from Atlantic deep blue seas to our own mountains, from sunny grasslands to lush forests. ”A Wilder Life” is a magnificent homage to our own and the rest of Europe’s nature which we read with both wonder and genuine joy.”
The authors explain their aim “We want to see more of the wild coming back into our lives. We believe that almost all places can become one or several steps wilder. Often with surprisingly small efforts leading to great results. We ask ourselves what we could all do for the wild, in our daily lives, suggesting a number of possible actions. At the same time also demonstrating some of the latest successes within rewilding and nature conservation. It really works. Through emotional imagery from the Wild Wonders of Europe and Rewilding Europe initiatives, we showcase Europe’s amazing natural heritage. The powerful visuals underline how absolutely exciting and loveable nature is in our part of the world.”
It may seem utopian to see large grazing animals wandering over grasslands in the south of Sweden as an equivalent to Africa’s Serengeti. But in Europe, similar scenarios are already reality. In spite of all reports of shrinking space for nature and minus figures for biodiversity, parts of Europe are again rewilded.
The book discusses issues such as hunting and fishing, forestry, hydropower and the need for increased marine protection.
”Nature is coming back if we just leave it in peace. We are excited to spread that message to a larger audience through the Panda book Award, ”said Staffan Widstrand and Magnus Lundgren.
The Award ceremony took place on October 11, when the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf handed over the prize in connection with WWF’s autumn meeting at Ulriksdal Palace.