Nature protection and biodiversity (Romania)
Why should we care about this issue
- Nature and biodiversity
Biodiversity represents a specific feature of our planet that ensures the optimal functioning of ecosystems
The values of biodiversity are an integral part of the natural heritage and must be used by the current generation without endangering the chance for future generations to enjoy the same living conditions. Biodiversity represents a specific feature of our planet that ensures the optimal functioning of ecosystems and the existence and development of the biosphere in general. Therefore, biodiversity is ‘an environment insurance policy’ that promotes the ability to adapt to changes caused by any destructive human activity. Europe's leaders agreed on the objective to halt biodiversity loss in Europe by 2010. This is the objective of the European Community Biodiversity Strategy. Many policies at national, European, and pan-European level contribute to achieving this objective. See link to the State of the Environment Report:http://www.anpm.ro/files2/6%20CON%20NARII_20091211364827.pdf
The state and impacts
state, trends,impacts, Convention onBiological Diversity
state, trends,impacts, Convention onBiological Diversity
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With an evaluation of the state and trends as well as an assessment of the impacts in accordance with a country’s own priority issues within a given topic area, countries can address the diversity of their individual situation in terms of geography, as well as social, cultural, economic and environmental legacies.
With intensive economic development in certain regions of the Earth, negative effects on natural ecosystems have become obvious. The EU Member States agreed to take measures to halt biodiversity loss through the Convention onBiological Diversity signed at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. To achieve this objective, the conservation of vulnerable species of plants and animals and their habitats within the most representative of their areas was considered necessary.
In this context, in 2007, the ecological Natura 2000 Network was introduced in Romania. This included 273 Sites of Community Importance (Figure 1) and 108 Special Protection Areas (Figure 2), covering 17.84 % of the country. In this way, Romania is contributing to enlarging the Natura 2000 Network to 26 000 sites representing 20 % of the European Union area. The total area covered by natural protected areas has reached about 20 % of Romania through designation of Natura 2000 sites, which have the status of protected natural areas. The proportion of protected areas by categories is shown in Figure 3.
Natura 2000 sites, designated according to scientific criteria, are distributed across five biogeographic regions in Romania (Alpine, Pannonian, Continental, Black Sea and Steppic). These should contribute significantly to the maintenanceandrestoration ofthe favourable conservation status of species and habitats of Community interest, as well as themaintenanceof the biogeographical regional biodiversity and the coherence of the network itself.
In accordance with the Habitats and Birds Directives, a monitoring system will be established in order to maintain species and natural habitats of Community interest in a favourable conservation status within the Natura 2000 Network and, furthermore, to ascertain the potential threats on species and habitats to prevent harmful actions on them.
Sustainable management of natural resources is not incompatible with human activities. The presence and even the continuation of human activities may be a prerequisite for the maintenance of species and habitats of Community interest. Therefore, maintenance of biodiversity is necessary not only for the present, but for future generations too.
The key drivers and pressures
Anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity include an increase in land cover, an increase in population, economic and agricultural development, changing landscapes and ecosystems
Anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity include an increase in land cover, an increase in population, economic and agricultural development, changing landscapes and ecosystems, the destruction of natural spaces, the unreasonable use of soil and the over-concentration of activities on sensitive areas with high ecological value.
The 2020 outlook
National Sustainable Development Strategy of Romania
In accordance with the National Sustainable Development Strategy of Romania, Horizon 2013–2020–2030, the concrete targets proposed for 2015 include the augmentation of the number of protected areas and Natura 2000 sites that operate in accordancewithapproved management plans from three in 2006 to 240 in 2015 as well as the expansion of such units to 60 % of all protected areas. There are proposed measures for the conservation, rehabilitation and development of forests in accordance with the EU Forest Action Plan. Available financing for the implementation of the envisaged measures reaches approximately EUR 172 million, of which 80 % is covered by EU co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund.
Existing and planned responses
Structural and Cohesion Funds
Through the sectoral operational programme ‘Environment’ (SOP Environment) which is the programming document of the Structural and Cohesion Funds (SCF), the strategy regarding the allocation of European funds was realised in order to develop the environmental sector in Romania between 2007–13.
The major objectives of the SOP concerning nature protection and biodiversity are covered by Axis 4 — Nature Protection through both management of nature protected areas and implementing the Natura 2000 network. Funds allocated for the environmental sector for the period 2007–13 amounts to more than EUR 5.6 billion. This funding comes from two EU funds — the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). The strategy and distribution of these funds for the environmental sector is achieved in the sectoral operational program ‘Environment’.
Projects funded in this sector aim to ensure the appropriate management of protected natural areas and, by default, halt biodiversity loss and degradation of natural resources. Particular attention will be given to the management of Natura 2000 sites.