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Romania risks infringement procedure for protected sites

Vineri, 3 iulie 2009, 16:16 English | Regional Europe

Romania risks facing the infringement procedure for protected areas because the Executive did not approve for sufficient areas to be included in Nature 2000’s system. The European Commission requested Romania to designate new or existent sites, according to Natura2000 Romania ONG Coalition.

The 55 organisations making-up the coalition decided to launch a campaign, asking the Government to support the institutions responsible for an efficient managing of the protected areas network. The petition will refer to cases reflecting Romanian law breaching in case of protected areas.   

"This situation will soon lead to severe measures from the EC, which could result in ceasing the finance Romania receives. There is the unfavourable context in which the management protected natural sites of national interest takes place - the lack of finance from the Romanian state and the lack of a national coordinating authority; besides, there is also the manner in which Natura 2000 sites are prepared: it will not allow the implementation of specific EU requests. This gets even more serious if we appreciate that Romania is one of the countries in the EU with the richest natural resources and values", a coalition letter reads.

One of the first cases pointed out by Natura 2000 addresses a situation in the National Park and "Muntii Rodnei" (Rodnei Mountains) Natura 2000 site. The cases presentation has already been sent to both Romanian authorities and the European Commission.

The case regarding the situation in Rodnei Mountains

Romuli town hall, from Bistrita Nasaud county (North Romania), sees over Natura 2000 site and The National Park Rodnei Mountains. An access road of nearly 12 kilometres has been built, without the consent of the National Park's Scientific Council. According to the law, any such work needs the consent of the Park's Administration, i.e. The Scientific Council. The road enters the Scientific Reservation Pietrosul Rodnei, where any such infrastructure is strictly forbidden.   

According to EU's 92.43/EEC directive transposed in the Romanian law through the emergency ordinance no. 57 from June 20 2007, any work suspected to have a negative impact on a Natura 2000 site or on the National Park is forbidden or can be carried on only after the evaluation of the environment impact.

Romuli town hall improved a road in September-December 2008, using a SAPARD project - "Rehabilitation of Stramba Forest Road" - worth of 2.6 million euros. The road goes 700 meters in Natura 2000 site and Rodnei Mountains National Park, a Biosphere reservation. The road work has not been approved by the Park's Scientific Council.

The road was added almost 12 more kilometres, going into Pietrosu Mare Scientific Reservation, one of the oldest reservations in Romania, established in 1932, in Maramures (North Romania). Although the Environment Guard found a bulldozer on the site, there has been no sanction against it.

Romuli town hall requested the Scientific Council's approval in this case, but the answer was negative because the existing law will not allow for such enterprise.

The road into the heart of the scientific reservation has a huge negative impact on the local faun, facilitating access for black goat poachers in the glacial depression Buhaiescu. The Park's rangers saw jeeps many times on this road. The Park's administration tried to block the traffic on this road by digging a ditch, but the traffic was back in two weeks.

Despite the fact that Rodna National Park Administration submitted notices to Maramures Environment Guard in October 2008 to Maramures authorities, no measures have been taken against the poachers. The number of jeeps using the road has been increaisng lately.  























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