Colțești, Alba, Romania. July 21st, 2021. 26 key stakeholders from 9 counties covering Romania’s Apuseni Mountains and South-Western Carpathians got together in order to give their feedback on the management measures for preserving the ecological connectivity and the ecological corridors identified by WWF-Romania within the ConnectGREEN project. The end goal of this event and of the efforts done in ConnectGREEN? Designating the ecological corridors and placing them under protection, which implies that concrete measures need to be taken in order to ensure ecological connectivity. Considering the participants’ involvement and their feedback after the workshop... it appears we are on the right track.
26 representatives of local authorities, environmental authorities, hunting associations, farmers and 1 MP from 9 counties (Alba, Arad, Bihor, Cluj Napoca, Caransebes, Hunedoara, Salaj, Satu Mare, Maramures) joined the hosts – WWF-Romania – for the event “Stakeholder consultation workshop regarding the management measures aimed at preserving the ecological connectivity for large carnivores in the pilot area Apuseni-South Western Carpathians”.
The event kicked off with an introduction to the ConnectGREEN project, followed by a presentation of the Action plan to mitigate threats to the corridors and conflict zones and mitigation measures in the Apuseni-South Western Carpathians pilot area. The main threats identified were:
- Infrastructure development
- Habitat fragmentation
- Development of inhabited areas
- Landuse change
The pilot area was presented from the perspective of the 56 ecological corridors identified in the 9 counties of the pilot area by the field research team. Resulting from the modeling of the corridors the critical sectors for connectivity were highlighted. This allows connectivity to be preserved by applying the following 3 categories of measures:
- Modifying existing infrastructure or developing new infrastructure
- Habitat conservation or development
- Awareness raising and communication
The measures proposed by the WWF were analyzed by the stakeholders and debated upon in order to refine them and to reach the most suitable formula for each particular context. The end goal is to set forth a procedure for developing the monitoring methodology which would be approved by the Environmental Ministry.
On the next day, July 26th, local and national media representatives joined the WWF team in the field and broadcast interviews of the team, thus contributing to the much needed awareness raising efforts.
Photo credits: WWF Romania