Just over two years ago Brexit won a narrow majority in the UK. In the aftermath, Biosphere Expeditions announced it was moving its HQ to Ireland, resulting in a lively debate with 80% in favour of the move. On 1 January 2018 the move was completed. Biosphere Expeditions has also become the first Irish member of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).
Dr. Matthias Hammer, founder and executive director of Biosphere Expeditions, says: “We have been welcomed with open arms in Ireland and are proud to have been Ireland’s first IUCN member, with our friends at the Irish Environmental Network following suit.”
There are also plans to conduct wildlife conservation expeditions in Ireland, “but it’s too early to reveal details”, says Hammer.
He adds that “although Brexit currently does not look good at all, ultimately the outcome and repercussions of it are unknowable and only time will tell. For Biosphere Expeditions it therefore came down to a choice of visions of the kind of world we want to operate in. Do we want to exist in a world where nationalistic interest, attitudes of ‘them and us’, suspicion and fear of the unknown – be it people or challenges – rule the day? History has told us where this leads – and besides wildlife conservation today is a global, trans-boundary issue. Or do we want to live in a world of collaboration, common visions, shared values, working towards a greater good, compassion and kindness? For me the answer was always obvious. The EU may be a behemoth in serious need of reform, but it has given us collaboration, shared values, freedom, peace and prosperity on a continent that until very recently had been at war with itself for millennia. For that alone, the EU deserves the highest praise (and its Nobel peace prize). We are glad to be staying part of that project and have not regretted our decision to move our HQ to Ireland.”