In an article published this month in the Financial Times Magazine, contributing editor Jeremy Paxman explores Romania’s Carpathian mountains, a 900 mile-long mountain range that is considered to be the last great wilderness area in Europe.
With the Carpathian Mountains facing growing pressure from development, local leaders, non-governmental leaders, and philanthropists are working to conserve the wild character of the area so that future generations may continue to enjoy its remote expanses.
The Wyss Foundation has contributed and committed more than $26 million to help conserve the Carpathian Mountains.
“The Carpathian Mountains are one of Europe’s wildest and most stunning landscapes – a place where bears, wolves, and lynx still roam free among pristine forests,” said Hansjörg Wyss, started the Wyss Foundation in 1998. “Through the leadership of local communities and forward-thinking leaders, this is a place that can and should be conserved for future generations to enjoy as it is today. I believe we have a shared responsibility to protect the last wild places in the world, which is why it is so important that this visionary effort in the Carpathian Mountains succeed.”
“Wildlands philanthropy is a particularly American idea, rooted in traditions of free enterprise,” writes Paxman. “For numerous reasons — longevity of settlement and density of population being the obvious ones — there are many fewer wild places to protect in Europe than in the Americas…. To see the last great wilderness of Europe destroyed is to impoverish all of us. It deprives us of something that tells us who we are.”
To read Mr. Paxman’s story, click here.