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Romania retains a high proportion of natural ecosystems. Almost half of its land area covered with natural and semi-natural landscapes, including one of the largest remaining areas of undisturbed forest in Europe.
The quality of the Romanian forest ecosystems is demonstrated by the presence of the full range of European forest fauna. The country supports half of Europe’s brown bears and 30 per cent of Europe’s wolves. Major grasslands, caves and an extensive network of rivers, including a significant part of Europe’s largest wetland, the Danube delta, add to the country’s environmental richness.
However, the pressures on biodiversity and natural resources have been increasing since Romania joined the European Union. Nowhere is this more evident than in Romania’s extensive but technically weak protected area network.
There has been a significant increase in the number of protected areas in recent years, yet they struggle for support from an already cash-strapped government. The protected areas suffer from a lack of management and technical capacity.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working on improving protected area management in Romania. We are developing long-term capacity building programmes for key protected area staff – the custodians of Romania’s animals and wild places.
Although people have lived there for centuries, the Zarand landscape corridor in Transylvania provides an element of wilderness through which large carnivores (such as the brown bear) can move between the Western and Southern Carpathian Mountains. Unfortunately, new developments and a shift away from small-scale agriculture are threatening this important area. By working in partnership with local people, FFI is helping to protect the corridor and its wildlife.
Romania contains vast expanses of natural and semi-natural ecosystems, including one of Europe’s largest areas of undisturbed forest. Although Romania has many protected areas, the administrations managing these parks urgently need to build their capacity to protect these living landscapes in the face of increasing industrial demand for land. FFI has helped to develop the country’s first protected area capacity building programme which is improving skills and knowledge for protected area conservation management, so far engaging with over half of Romania’s protected areas. FFI is also building local interest in ecological connectivity in vital regions.
Romania is home to a huge variety of habitats – from the Danube Delta, a World Heritage Site, to virgin forests. It contains vast expanses of natural and semi-natural ecosystems and has one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe. Grasslands, subterranean caves and an extensive river network add to the richness of the country’s park system. Protecting natural treasures However Romania faces a huge challenge to protect these natural treasures in the face of increasing economic growth…Read more