European Award for the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation

european award for the danube delta biosphere reservation The Council of Europe has renewed the European Diploma for Protected Areas, awarded to the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation

The European Council has renewed the European Diploma for Protected Areas, awarded to the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation in Tulcea, in southeastern Romania. It is not the first time this happens, since this is one of the highest distinctions in Europe, both due to the high scientific standards that are applied, as well as the continuous monitoring of compliance. The diploma has started being awarded since the year 2000, because, with its wetlands with such a diverse flora and fauna, the area has major biological value, with great landscapes and inestimable cultural value for Europe.

This is what reservation governor Ion Munteanu told us:

"First of all, because of what exists as natural heritage in the area. I am talking about flora and fauna, habitats, and ecosystems. Secondly, they are optimally conserved, and meet all the criteria demanded by the EU. I want to say that we met all of them because, besides the fact that we have many conservation projects, we've had many projects to revive nature in areas that have suffered because of human meddling. I am talking about 16,000 hectares of areas that used to be farms or fisheries, and which have been restored to nature gradually, impressing European experts, when they compared what used to be and what it is now. We have very well trained colleagues, who studied both in the country and abroad. We also have a corps of rangers who know very well what happens in the field, and know very well the situation in each area."

When renewing the distinction the third time, the European Council also formulated a series of recommendations. One is to include in the Reservation Management Plan, which is under revision, specific dispositions dedicated to climate change, more to the point those that are relevant to the long-term conservation of endemic species. Another is the need to provide a base budget for managing the reservation, and increasing the number of employees to ensure an effective means of carrying out activities. The process by which the diploma is granted includes analyzing technical documentation and field inspections by independent experts in protected areas. The role of the diploma is, on the one hand, to reward member states for protecting certain areas, and on the other, because it is granted on a limited basis, which can be prolonged, to encourage those states to continue protecting them. We asked the governor of the Danube Delta what the main problems faced by the reservation are:

"This year was totally atypical, because of the pandemic, atypical because people didn't flock to other countries to spend their holidays, but flocked to the Danube Delta. In this situation, we believe that the number of tourists skyrocketed, with the number of tourists on the beaches tripling. I am talking about the beaches in Constanta County, Vadu and Corbu. It was the case with the ones in the Delta, but they are harder to reach, so people focused on the areas that they could drive to. There were many boats in the Delta that worked overtime, sometimes at higher speeds than permitted. We took measures. We ran checkpoints and inspections all the time, we took action to protect those areas with intense tourism, which were mostly prevention and awareness raising among people on how tourism should be done in protected areas. Another big problem is the overfishing that has been occurring for many years here, and poaching, which is in fact another kind of overfishing, as well as failure to report the quantity of fish that gets caught, and reaches black markets."

The Danube Delta has a triple status internationally: it is a UNESCO MAB biosphere reservation, as part of the Man and Biosphere program, it is an international wetland for aquatic birds, as part of the Ramsar Convention, and it is also a UNESCO World Nature and Culture Heritage site. It is an integral part of the Natura 2000 European ecological network, and has 3 protected areas. There are also 20 strictly protected areas for scientific purposes. They are home to 4,000 pairs of pelican, the largest such colony in Europe, 320 fertile pairs of Pelecanus Crispus, an endangered species, 70 colonies with a variety of other birds, namely 36 mixed and 34 monospecific, and 22 colonies of giant cormorant. During the period of migration, the Delta shelters over 20,000 large aquatic bird species. The area is exceedingly beautiful, with huge biodiversity and resources, which makes it unique in Europe and all over the world.
Publicat: 2020-10-30 13:10:00
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