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TENT x Leica – Announcing our ambassador programme

At The European Nature Trust, we have always believed in the power of connecting with wild nature. That is why we have recently partnered with Leica – an elite photography and optics brand, whose products bring wildlife and natural landscapes into sharp focus.

Over the next year, Leica and TENT will be announcing joint Ambassadors chosen from TENT’s conservation projects from across Europe. From the bustling biodiversity of Romania’s virgin forests, to the Deseha of Spain and Portugal where Iberian wolves and lynx make their home, TENT and Leica will be active collaborators in the journey to restore European ecosystems. 

According to the European Environment Agency, Europe’s nature is experiencing a serious and continuing decline. The expansion of urban areas, unsustainable farming practices, forestry and pollution have led to a net loss of biodiversity. Currently only 15 per cent of the EU’s habitats and around 27 per cent of Europe’s species have “good” conservation status, according to the EU Habitats Directive. When we pluck species from ecosystem, like rivets from a complex machine, we degrade their health. In turn, the ecosystem services provided – like the carbon that forests and wetlands absorb, or the sediment that rivers filter – all reduce. 

Yet, there are glimmers of hope. Thanks to the conservation movement, the number of species with “good” conservation status has actually increased by 4 per cent from the Habitat Framework Directive’s previous reporting period of 2007–2012. Carnivores are making a significant comeback across Europe: wolves have expanded their permanent range in the Italian and Iberian peninsulas, and have now recolonised France, Switzerland, Germany and Poland. The Iberian lynx has recovered from a historic low of 100 individuals in one isolated population to more than 1,000 across 8 subpopulations. Bison and beaver have been reintroduced to key parts of their former range; and the restoration movement is gathering pace, now becoming a key theme in political agendas.

The European Nature Trust and Leica, through our partnership, will be uplifting those working to restore ecosystems and natural processes. Our ambassadors and the NGOs they represent will be provided with elite optical equipment to support conservation work.

Our ambassadors

Mario Cipollone, director of Salviamo l'Orso and Rewilding Apennines.

His mission is to secure a future for the Marsican brown bears of Abruzzo, Italy.

Left: Mario with the Leica Noctivid 10x42.

"It's all about creating the ecological and social conditions for Marsican brown bear numbers to grow", says Mario, in Leica's latest blog post.

Pedro Prata, team leader at Rewilding Portugal.

His mission is to allow natural processes to recover the landscapes of rural Portugal.

Right: Pedro with the Leica Noctivid 10x42.

"Our approach is to create new models of land-use that allow for carbon sequestration and natural grazing, allowing forest and vegetation dynamics to self-regulate as nature intended’", says Pedro, in Leica's latest blog post.

Roisin Campbell Palmer, Restoration Manager at Beaver Trust.

Her mission is to restore Britain's freshwater ecosystems by safely expanding beaver populations.

Left: Roisin, installing a flow device on a dam constructed by a reintroduced beaver.

"I think people are really questioning the wider health of our ecosystems. I think the public support for beavers demonstrates that really nicely," says Roisin, in Leica's latest blog post.

Carmen Rueda, Field Technician at CBD-Habitat.

Her mission is to recover Iberian lynx populations in the Iberian peninsula.

Right: Carmen, releasing a translocated Iberian lynx to part of the species historic range.

'If we come together with a shared vision, the recent history of this beautiful species tells us exactly what is possible,' says Carmen in Leica's recent blog post.

Stay tuned for more of our ambassador announcements, and discover more about their work and vision for wild Europe with exclusive interviews!

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