Susanne Schmitt

Project leader

EuroNatur employee Susanne Schmitt
© Kerstin Sauer

Susanne Schmitt came into conservation work via environmental education. During her studies, she completed an internship in Thuringia’s Hainich National Park. It focussed on environmental education, and she was a little surprised herself at how much she enjoyed this. Susanne loved the infectious enthusiasm that bounced back and forth between the children and herself.

After completing her master degree in EU environmental directives, Susanne Schmitt did further volunteer work in the field of conservation, including spells in Lithuania and Sicily, after which she worked as Project Coordinator for Environmental Education in the Wanninchen Visitor Centre in Lower Lusatia (Niederlausitz). As Susanne was not allowed to enter the area’s post-mining landscape with the children, she mostly took the youngsters into the forest. There she could see clearly how little Brandenburg’s forests had in common with unspoilt semi-natural forests – and she wanted to get involved in conserving our continent’s last ancient forests.

Since January 2022, Susanne Schmitt has been looking after EuroNatur‘s forest projects. This includes on the one hand the SaveParadiseForests campaign to protect the ancient forests of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, and on the other the Forest Beyond Borders project. This project involves mapping the last ancient and natural forests of the Western Balkans. Once the mapping is complete, they will confer with the relevant countries as to what level of protection is appropriate for these areas. By the time they finish, it should produce a large network of protected natural forests in the region.

Susanne Schmitt says, “Nature conservation ought not to stop at national borders, and I admire that approach in EuroNatur’s work. Forests, for example, have an intrinsic value regardless of what country they are in.”