Young Hunters: Securing a Future for Europe’s Biodiversity

Sustainable hunting is a positive force for conservation! This was one of the messages delivered by Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, at the conference “Young Hunters: Securing a future for Europe’s biodiversity” on 6 September 2017 at the European Parliament. The Commissioner also pointed to the value of FACE Biodiversity Manifesto to demonstrate how Europe’s 7 million hunters contribute to delivering the goals of EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020.

Janneke Eigeman, Head of Communication at the Royal Dutch Hunting Association (KNJV), highlighted some positive developments with regard to young hunters. For example, in the Netherlands around 50% of the people obtaining their hunters permit are youngsters. To promote hunting to younger generations, she explained the need to establish mentoring programmes such as KNJV’s mentorship programme, linking older and experienced hunters to new and younger hunters.

With a focus on young hunters, the conference set out to debate the future of hunting in an increasingly urbanised world. Panel members discussed communication strategies and how best to support the contribution of young hunters to nature conservation and wildlife management. There was widespread agreement on the need for educational programmes and activities dedicated to support young hunters.