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Wildlife Ecological Spatial Planning (WESP): An instrument for integrating wildlife into comprehensive land management

Year of publication1999
Author(s)Friedrich Reimoser
Number of pages6
JournalAgriculture forestry – Game, Interating Wildlife in Land Management
Publication typeJournal article
Sustainability in the 21st century is seen as basis for the use of natural resources. In European countries evaluation criteria for sustainable use are developed in various sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism). For wildlife management and hunting an unsatisfied need in defining sustainability existed. Therefore in the course of an interactive, particapatory stakeholder-process the authors developed an assessment framework that allows hunters to evaluate the degree of sustainability of their own individual hunting practices. Based on international and national obligations and provisions (e.g. CBD, MCPFE, IUCN), a transparent set of ecological, economic and socio-cultural principles (11), criteria (20), and subcriteria (39), with indicators and assigned values, has been defined. Main task of the assessment set is to function as a decision-supporting and awareness-raising instrument for managers of hunting grounds or hunting communities in order to identify sustainability gaps, to provide guidance in deducing measures for more sustainable future hunting practices and to measure progress in the implementation of sustainability requirements. The results are available for a broader range of users and for further sophistication via WorldWideWeb (
In this paper the new method (procedural and organizational framework, architectural structure of assessment model) is presented. The participatory, interdisciplinary social bottom-up working process that involved a large number of interest groups and experts is seen as a crucial factor promoting acceptance. Strategic backgrounds of the study results, evaluation method, and interpretation basics are described. Major attributes in contents as well as possibilities for further development of the test system are outlined.