Bucharest, June 25th 2019. New set of tools is now available for roads that take nature into account as a result of Carpathian countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine – joining forces in unprecedented effort to reconcile the region’s growing transport infrastructure network with its unique biodiversity, as part of the TRANSGREEN project. The tools bringing a 360° approach to road-building and planning - technical, scientific and legislative – have been launched today, in Bucharest, during the EU-level Conference „Pathways to Greener Transport Infrastructure”.
Ecological connectivity is essential for the survival of wildlife. But as the natural habitats are shrinking and are being fragmented by roads, collisions between cars and wildlife are becoming more and more common. Moreover, ecological connectivity may be disturbed by the new infrastructure projects, such as motorways, to be built in Romania and the entire Carpathian region as part of the TEN-T trans-European transport network, unless measures are taken to reduce their impact.
"In the Romanian society, a conflict has been created between those who want to protect the environment and those who want motorways. Since 2005, we decided to reconcile these two "camps" and submitted a grant application for the TRANSGREEN project. I am very pleased that environmental organizations are reaching out to us and saying "we too want infrastructure, but only under certain conditions." You have our support. I hope that in the future our society will change its perspective and see that both sides want to develop infrastructure ", declared for the conference audience Mr. Cătălin Costache, director of European Funds Accesion Unit, from the Romanian Ministry of Transport.
The Conference brought together the main actors in sustainable infrastructure planning from the Carpathian region and beyond - as in the afternoon an exchange took place on the topic of connectivity, between representatives from several mountain regions: Alpine, Carpathian, Caucasian, Dinaric Arc regions and the Pyrenees.
Conference Declaration for a greener transport infrastructure in Europe
In the framework of the TRANSGREEN conference organized today by WWF under the patronage of the Romanian Presidency to the Council of the European Union and the Romanian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the solutions developed in the five countries of the project - Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary - were launched and promoted for integration into the region's public policies.
At the end of the event, international participants contributed to the adoption of the Bucharest Conference Declaration for a greener transport infrastructure in Europe. The declaration calls on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the national governments of the Danube-Carpathian region to preserve the beauty and richness of the region's biodiversity by promoting coordination between national and international institutions for a systemic integration of biodiversity policies and transport objectives, including financial aspects. At the same time, they should create a common and accessible database containing high quality data, tools, information and knowledge on biodiversity, spatial planning and the development of transport infrastructure to support planning and decision-making processes. Recognizing that adequate spatial planning is the only approach that will support sustainable transport infrastructure, will prevent the progressive isolation of wildlife populations and the loss of biodiversity.