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'Denmark's Wildest Municipality' campaign logo, Source: The Ministry of the Environment

'Denmark’s Wildest Municipality': A competition encouraging biodiversity

'Denmark’s Wildest Municipality': A competition encouraging biodiversity

The Minister of the Environment Lea Wermelin has invited 98 municipalities to participate in a competition to become ‘Denmark’s Wildest Municipality’

The Danish Ministry of the Environment has announced the launch of a contest where municipalities can compete for the title of ‘Denmark’s Wildest Municipality’ until 2022. The competition’s main goal is to encourage cities to fight for biodiversity and the preservation of nature.

Lea Wermelin, Minister of the Environment, sent a letter to the 98 municipalities in Denmark, asking them to join the contest. According to the ministry’s website, she referred to the municipality of Hjørring which had recently made more space for wild nature in its city. Hoping to encourage other municipalities to follow Hjørring’s example, Wermelin wrote:

“We are in the middle of a natural crisis. Biodiversity is declining all over the world, and in this country thousands of animal and plant species are in danger of disappearing completely. The good news is that everyone can make a difference for nature.

When Hjørring municipality made room for more wild nature instead of grass deserts in gardens and roundabouts, it was crowded with butterflies and bees. So think if we get the whole of Denmark and all municipalities on that journey. Right from the local schoolyard to the apartment block, the nursing home and the sports field.”

What are the criteria?

The winner of the contest will be chosen by a judging panel at the end of 2022. This panel will consist of three judges: Minister of the Environment Lea Wermelin, TV host Frank Erichsen, and biologist Morten DD Hansen.

The ‘wildest’ municipality will be the one with the most biodiverse project; this will be judged based on several factors including the number of converted square/cubic metres of wild nature. Moreover, the panel will assess the degree to which municipalities have encouraged their citizens to learn more about wilderness and nature.

The deadline for registration is 24 March 2021. Following this, the contest will begin and run until the end of 2022. A film crew will also follow and record the progress of the municipalities so that their efforts can be broadcasted on the Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR in 2023.

At the time of writing, the following 11 municipalities have registered to take part in the competition:

  1. Albertslund Municipality
  2. Lolland Municipality
  3. Rødovre Municipality
  4. Slagelse Municipality
  5. Vejen Municipality
  6. Billund Municipality (subject to the approval of the municipal council)
  7. Høje-Taastrup Municipality (subject to city council approval)
  8. Frederikshavn Municipality
  9. Odense Municipality
  10. Hvidovre municipality
  11. Norddjurs Municipality (subject to the approval of the municipal council)

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