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Europe still retains large areas which play host to numerous native and free-functioning ecosystems and lack roads, buildings, bridges, cables and other permanent manifestations of modern society.
In the past such areas were considered wastelands, whose value lay only in their potential for cultivation and economic exploitation. Today, these wilderness areas are increasingly cherished as places for rest and recreation and as important areas for scientific research, biodiversity conservation and the mitigation of and adaptation to certain climate change effects.
This book provides the first major appraisal of the role of international, European and domestic law in protecting the remaining wilderness areas and their distinguishing qualities in Europe. It also highlights the lessons that can be learned from the various international, regional and national approaches, identifies obstacles to wilderness protection in Europe and considers whether and how the legal protection of wilderness can be further advanced.