The main focus of the German Wolf Association's efforts is the protection of the wolf not only, but especially in Germany and the educational work needed to achieve a successful and harmonic coexistance of humans and wolves.
The main reason why we established the association was the natural return of the wolf into Germany and the problems and conflicts arising from this fact for wolves and humans. A protecting, intervening and especially educating organization was clearly needed to solve those problems.
The aims of the German Wolf Association could be summarized as follows:
The main focus of our work serves the protection and integration of the wolf in its natural habitats. Of course this also includes those areas that will be populated by wolves in the future.
To achieve this goal, we count on global cooperation with affected groups like residents in wolf areas, hunters, rangers, hunting-, animal and environmental societies (-> Dialogue) as well as education of the public and creating a new understanding, a new consciousness for the wolf (-> Education).
Furthermore, our work includes the organization and support of projects in and around Germany. To do that efficiently, we cooperate with other organizations carrying out and supporting projects (-> Cooperation).
Besides protecting the wolf in the wild (i.e. its natural environment), we don't ignore the controversial and problematic nature of private individuals keeping wolves, which fortunatly isn't that much of an issue in Germany yet like it is in the US. Even though we don't see it as one of our main tasks, we try to help to solve problems arising from keeping wolves in captivity together with authorities in captive wolf management. Therefore we stay in touch with various scientists and organizations dealing with captive wolves, as well as wolf rescue ranches for ill-kept and mistreated wolves.
We see great possiblities
arising from the cooperation with other organizations all over the
world. Concurrency is pointless; we all strive for the same goals - even
better - each organization is often specialized on a different topic,
which makes it even more valuable to work together and complement one
another, giving us the chance to reach the most ambitious goals.
Another form of cooperation we practice is to financially and ideally support actions, petitions and projects.
The most important task of an association whose goal is the protection of the wolf and its harmonic coexistence with humans is the dialogue. Where opinions and interests collide, prejudices prevail in all parties, and every affected group has its own individual hopes, fears and needs, communication is extremely important and can build a bridge between all groups.
Besides the obviously primary affected groups like farmers, hunters or rangers, one must not forget the secondary affected. That could be the hiker who's afraid to walk through a forest where wolves exist on the one hand, while the wolves may attract the wildlife enthusiast, who hopes to get a glimpse of a wolf. So wolves definitely have an influence on tourism as well. The return of the wolf may have an impact on lots of different fields we probably haven't even thought of before. To estimate the impact of the return of the wolf and to propose new ways of dealing with the new situation is another job that lies ahead of us.
To achieve that, discussion groups are to be organized for example, opinion polls to be carried out, to be able to submit proposals to the responsible instances after analyzing the data.
When Man settled down and began to breed livestock and engage in agriculture, the once comradely relationship between wolf and Man turned into concurrency and enmity on behalf of Man. Now they suddenly didn't hunt together, but Man had to defend "its" livestock against the wolves.
As time went by, this problem lead to a more and more negative image of the wolf, which was used (or misused) as a symbol for the bad and evil even in the holy bible. Also, fairy tales like the famous "Little Red Riding Hood" show the negative attitude towards the wolf which was still present only a few decades ago and even in our modern times still is in many places.
The public awareness campaigns of the last years and decades corrected this image of the wolf for the most part, but also twisted it to the other extreme. Especially in urban parts, people have an overly-mystified picture of the wolf, that is just as wrong as the medieval one and depicts it as an unselfish charitable creature and a symbol of the exploited wilderness as such. During our educational efforts, both extremes have to be cleared up in an objective and neutral manner.
The goals of your educational work are mainly the establishment of school programs, ranging from workshops to a complete introduction of wolf education to the biology curriculum in as many schools as possible, and the creation and distribution of supporting teaching materials that's linked to it.
Furthermore lectures, workshops, exhibitions and other educational campaigns are planned, with the aim to reach especially those kind of people who did not think about the wolf yet.
|© 1999-2013 Deutsche Wolfsgemeinschaft / German Wolf Association e.V.|