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17 július 2020

A Biodiversity Challenge

2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a make or break year for biodiversity. We are experiencing a sixth mass extinction. After our failures to reach previous targets, we need to act urgently to solve the crisis. Time to take on the challenge!

Game on! Series: It’s Our Turn! (2/4)


8 július 2020

The Youth Must Be Heard

Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, the Sunrise Movement. The list goes on, but they act as one: the global youth taking a stand to (finally) address climate change. Welcome to their fight.

Game on! Series: It’s Our Turn! (1/4)


6 július 2020

The last stand

On 17-18 July, Member States will gather for the Special European Council to define the post-COVID-19 recovery plan and the new long-term EU budget. This is the critical opportunity to align these economic horizons to the Union’s sustainability goals and make them sustainability-proof.


1 július 2020

Curiosity Saved the Wildcat

Camera traps technology continues to provide useful conservation insights into the behaviour and dispersal of one of Europe’s endangered species, the European Wildcat.


8 június 2020

The Good Earth

We need to dig deep into the roots of our differences so we can come together to save soil and, by extension, humanity.

CEEweb Series: Our Common Ground (4/4)


25 május 2020

One reaps what one sows

We take from the soil more than we give. Now, our greediness is one of the greatest threats to our long-term survival.

Our Common Ground (3/4)


21 május 2020

The shield that guards the realms of men

The tainting of global biodiversity is closely linked to the emergence of pandemics. History tells us so. Time to learn to protect our best line of defence.

CEEweb Series: Silent Pandemic Spring (1/4)


18 május 2020

Know Your Roots

The history of soil contains clues to the fate of civilisations that fail to take care of their soil.

CEEweb Series: Our Common Ground (2/4)


7 május 2020

Soil: The Forgotten Miracle

Soil is one of the building blocks of life, yet we pay so little attention. Time to shine a light on our forgotten origins.

CEEweb Series: Our Common Ground (1/4)


22 április 2020

Bear your distance

Brown bear sightings in Northern Hungary, highlight the importance of safety and preparedness

By Andreas Candido

As the positive effects of conservation continue to be highlighted through increased sights of carnivorous species in the Carpathian mountains, we are once more able to bring more good news on this front. A brown bear family (mother and two pups) are living in the Mátra mountains in the Northern Hungarian mountain range. The sighting was announced by HEOL (a Hungarian news outlet) and confirmed by the National Park Directorate. The experts at the Bükk mountain range said that sightings like these are no longer a surprise for Northern Hungary. You can see the small cubs, which were caught on a trap camera here.

While this exciting sighting is another important notch on the belt for conservation, it also presents a chance to raise some important points about bear safety. The internet is fraught with inaccurate myths and misconceptions, including on what to do when someone encounters a bear, which is one reason there are officially 40 global bear attacks a year (and countless unreported attacks).

(Don’t!) Take the bear by the tooth

Bear encounters are rare and if you are aware and prepared, you can minimise the risk of a bad encounter, should you come across one. Obviously, it is very important to not lure the bear to yourself in any way. For example, in areas with large carnivores, waste should be tightly closed and put away where possible, so that it does not become a potential food source.

Bears’ eyesight isn’t very strong, so individuals coming up close or on two legs may just be trying to see better — “may” being the keyword, just in case.

Bears in the wild are often just as frightened of you as you are of them. Brown bears, like those spotted in Hungary, are especially known to avoid humans when possible. They only show aggression when they are defending cubs or are feeling threatened. Needless to say, this should not be an invitation to befriend cubs or bears, as they should be avoided altogether. Alerting potential bears to your presence in the wild, by making lots of noise (e.g. whistling) and traveling in large groups is a good way to avoid surprise bear encounters.  

If you do encounter a bear do not try to chase it away or even alert it of your presence, if it has not seen you. Instead, moving away quickly and quietly from the area is the best course of action. Bears are often attracted to food, so leave all sources of it behind.

If all this advice has thus far failed you and you now find yourself encountering a bear approaching you, don’t panic there are still several steps you can take. Avoid looking directly in their eyes, as this can provoke an aggressive response, and try to move away from the area without turning your back. Finally, if it comes up close, stay calm and still, as sudden movements may startle and provoke the bear. And if it wasn’t obvious, don’t take a selfie with a close-up bear….