The Foundation

Wilderness International

Article of Association

The preservation of wilderness - defined as an ecologically intact untouched natural landscape - gives both purpose and name to our foundation. Our aim is the world-wide preservation of unique wilderness areas for future generations. In an era of increasing complexity, population growth and urban sprawl, wild areas will prove vital not only to humanity’s survival but to our health as well. Wilderness International seeks to draw awareness to the conflict that exists between societal growth and the need to preserve our natural areas. We believe that only by directly experiencing nature can we embrace and truly understand it. Our covenant with our environment is a sacred trust! We must preserve our pristine natural areas in the interest of all those that will follow us. Indigenous peoples who lived in these lands learned over millennia to live in harmony with the environment. It is for this reason Wilderness International actively promotes relationship-building and cultural exchange between these groups and more industrialized counterparts. We endeavor to inspire an appreciation for untouched environments and to provide education on the potential of these fragile ecosystems, using both direct experience and innovative technologies.

Our Mission

Wilderness International is an international group of dedicated conservationists promoting responsible world citizenship for the purpose of protecting the earth’s fragile natural treasures and at-risk ecosystems. We strive to inspire young people--- our most precious natural resource—and to provide them with the opportunity to confront and manage environmental threats, inspiring others in turn.

We work to preserve wilderness areas by preventing or limiting environmental damage caused by agricultural or industrial development. Our projects offer opportunities for real engagement.


Educational and research projects are designed in conjunction with the residents of the affected regions, allowing a sustainable, ecologically viable utilization of the wilderness area. Expeditions led by local experts make it possible for students to intimately experience the vast diversity, complexity and delicate balance of the protected environment. Through these programs, students discover and identify with the threatened region directly, becoming advocates for its preservation.


All forms of life are integral to the environment. Humans are only one strand in the complex living web that spans this planet. We understand that our relationship with the environment is symbiotic and our survival as a species is reliant upon the preservation of this delicate balance.

Honesty and Integrity

We are grateful that many individuals and organizations have placed their trust in our organization and pledge to work responsibly and diligently toward our common purpose.


Our organization is entirely dependent upon the unique talents, skills and expertise of many people from a variety of backgrounds. We appreciate and respect the diversity that each individual brings and recognize that we can only achieve our goals by functioning as an integrated team.


We recognize that we must be innovative and flexible in our endeavors, searching for effective approaches and staying current with the latest research, policies and developments. We are committed to continually integrating new skills and methods with lessons learned from the past.


We are committed to our mission and understand that although the need for quick and decisive action in response to an urgent situation may arise, we must not lose sight of our long-term goals.


Why do we work to keep nature intact? Areas that have been untouched by humans are ever more rare, and thus becoming irreplaceable treasures. Once nature has been disturbed by clear cuts, mining or urban sprawl, it is often difficult to repair, if at all. It then requires a lot of work and often, a lot of money. Therefore, long-term conservation is the most efficient and effective way to preserve valuable habitats for future generations. These protected areas allow threatened animal and plant species to survive, and support the preservation of unique ecosystems. Wilderness areas are expressions of nature in its most original form! They are our inspiration, and our ancient home. Only in these areas is everything connected in a natural balance. If this harmony is destroyed by industrial logging, the network of life is also torn. We at Wilderness International, with the help of the students and our partners, purchase land that is valuable and acutely threatened, and secure it in the national land registry. We bring the local residents into our team and offer exchange and research projects, bringing together enthusiastic young people, scientists and companies. We are convinced that together we can create a future worth living in.

We believe in the importance of learning through direct experience. Once individuals have established a personal connection with nature, they are motivated to protect it. We believe in the immense value of the traditional wisdom and knowledge garnered by the current conservators of these areas. We understand that it is imperative to bridge the gap between modern scientific methods and the traditional teachings of the past.

How can I help?

Take responsibility and protect wilderness with us!

  • Regular Donation or Wilderness as a present
  • Increase of Foundation Capital
  • Sponsor prizes for the Walk fort he Wild
  • Dedicate Your Will or Heritage to us
  • Become a Sustaining Member
  • Compensate Your Nature Consumption expressed as carbon footprint
  • Take part in the Walk for the Wild
  • Join our Team as a volunteer, do an internship or ask for open jobs

Wilderness International

Organization Chart

Organizational Status

Wilderness International is an independent charitable foundation classified as a not-for-profit organization by the tax office of Dresden-Süd. Our VAT number is: 203/142/08405.

Founding Donor

  • Agnes S. Weiland
  • Ellen Weiland
  • Dr. med. Georg H. Merker
  • Dr. med. Gert Andersch
  • Dr. agr. Guido Richter †
  • Hans Dierstein (Chief Project Officer)
  • Henner Kollenberg
  • Johanna Diehl
  • Kai Andersch (Chief Executive Officer)
  • Kathrine Kollenberg
  • Marit Richter (Foundation Council)
  • Matthias Burchert
  • Matthias Kappelhoff
  • Nelli Theyel
  • Niels Hahmann
  • Jürgen Thiele (Chief Finance Offier)
  • Sandra Zügge (Foundation Council)
  • Sebastian Reuter
  • Sissel Hammerstrøm (Foundation Council)
  • Dr. med. Steffen Kolschmann (Vice President of the Board)
  • Stephan Hürten (Foundation Council)
  • Tom Andersch (Foundation Council)
  • Dr. med. Ulrich Zügge
  • Vera Phillipps (President of the Board)
  • Yvonne Sirtl

Donor since the end of 2015

  • Petra England
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Klauer
  • Thomas Kimmel (Foundation Council)
  • Henrik Voigt