For the first time in history, Europe’s hunting community launched a large-scale petition, the “SignforHunting” campaign. This initiative saw hunters achieve one of the biggest environmental campaigns in Brussels, which includes a clear call of support for the EU’s nature restoration law proposal.
During EU Green Week 2023, in an unprecedented move, the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) handed over 360,000 signatures to the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius. The campaign is a call on legislators to work with us to better recognise the contribution which hunters make, and that they are part of the solution. This call should also be seen as strong offer of support to European institutions, as well as a request for policy change.
«We are thrilled to see such a massive mobilization of Europe’s hunters» said Torbjörn Larsson, President of FACE. “«This is not just a big win for hunters, but for nature and conservation efforts across Europe. It’s also a testament to the power of our diverse community, who are not typically signing petitions, and Europe’s national hunting associations, as well as their commitment to the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage».
Environment Commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevičius stated: «I am happy for the opportunity to officially receive the signatures of FACE’s petition on nature conservation. Many of the requests contained in your petition demonstrate our shared concern and determination to successfully address the challenge of halting and reversing the dramatic loss of biodiversity in this decade. We count on FACE to support our current policies and proposed legislation, in particular on nature restoration».
The “SignforHunting” campaign reinforces hunters’ role as stewards of the environment, thereby representing a crucial step in addressing the goals of the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The signatures gathered highlight the collective voice of Europe’s hunters, their stand for sustainable hunting, and their commitment to conservation and the promotion of hunting’s important cultural heritage.
The campaign also reflects FACE’s broad support for the critical nature restoration law proposal. FACE took advantage of this occasion to deliver a strong statement to the European Parliament, a reminder to politicians that hunters are active participants in environmental conservation and restoration. This not only demonstrates the hunting community’s unity and resolve, but also underscored the collective commitment to ‘Bring Back Nature,’ the campaign’s central request.
«This is a historic day for Europe’s hunters, and indeed for all of Europe», Larsson concluded. «We are confident that this successful campaign will continue to encourage dialogue and foster cooperation among all stakeholders to shape a future where nature conservation and sustainable hunting go hand in hand».
FACE thanks all those who supported the campaign and welcomes that so many hunters are behind our main policy request, namely that legislators work with us.