Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA
Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham
Chapter 8: Nature Protection NGOs in Poland: Between Tradition, Professionalism and Radicalism
Piotr Glin and Mal gorzata Koziarek ´ski THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF NATURE PROTECTION IN POLAND Early Origins (Thirteenth to Nineteenth Centuries) The tradition of nature protection in Poland goes back at least to the thirteenth century, when a royal edict on the protection and winter feeding of the aurochs (Bos primigenius) in the Jaktorowska Forest was issued. It was one example of so called regalia, legal acts granting the privilege to members of royal and aristocratic courts to hunt speciﬁc animals. At the turn of the sixteenth century, King Wladyslaw Jagiel lo placed the yew tree under protection for military and economic reasons, as its wood was used for the production of bows. In 1529, the Lithuanian Statute provided for protection of beaver lodges. These legal regulations, although motivated by reasons other than nature protection, indirectly provided a degree of protection to speciﬁc animal and plant species (Karaczun and Indeka 1999, p. 392). The modern nature protection movement in Poland, however, appeared much later – in the mid-nineteenth century. At that time, ideas about nature protection were tightly linked to ideas about the development of the Polish culture and national independence. (Since the late eighteenth century, Polish territory had been divided among Russia, Prussia and Austria.) Nature motifs also played an important role in nineteenth-century Polish poetry and prose, and were dominant factors in shaping public awareness of Polish identity. All three of the most important cultural and literary currents of the nineteenth century: Romanticism, positivism and modernism (the...
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