Designation of three Bulgaro-Romanian Transboundary Ramsar Sites
Article 5 of the Ramsar Convention states that “The Contracting Parties shall consult with each other about implementing obligations arising from the Convention especially in the case of a wetland extending over the territories of more than one Contracting Party or where a water system is shared by Contracting Parties. They shall at the same time endeavor to coordinate and support present and future policies and regulations concerning the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna”.
Support for the implementation of this Article was provided to the Parties in 1999 through Resolution VII.19, adopting Guidelines for international cooperation. Most recently, the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11), held in Bucharest in 2012, commended Romania (through Resolution XI.22) for its planned designation of newly-listed Ramsar Sites as Transboundary Ramsar Sites with Bulgaria, thereby applying an ecosystem approach and furthering cross-border cooperation between neighbouring Parties to the Convention, based on the recognition that these coherent watercourse ecosystems extend beyond national boundaries, that many of their wetland species are migratory, and that effective management requires coordination and exchange of experiences between the neighbouring countries.
Through a joint letter of 15 April 2013, the Romanian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Ms Rovana Plumb, and the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Waters, Mr Julian Popov, have requested the Ramsar Secretariat to recognize the following, already earlier listed Ramsar Sites, part of the Lower Danube Green Corridor, as Transboundary Ramsar Sites:
• Lake Calarasi (Iezerul Calarasi) (RO) – Srebarna (BG)
• Suhaia (RO) - Belene Islands Complex (BG)
• Bistret (RO) - Ibisha Island (BG)
Coordinated and joint conservation and management activities of these transboundary ecosystems are strongly supported by European Union Directives and their inclusion in the EU “Natura 2000” network of protected areas.
The Ramsar Secretariat heartily welcomes this Transboundary Ramsar Site declaration and looks forward to learning more about their successful transboundary management and conservation activities.
Transboundary Ramsar Sites are those where “an ecologically coherent wetland extends across national borders and the Ramsar Site authorities on both or all sides of the border have formally agreed to collaborate in its management, and have notified the Secretariat of this intent" (Ramsar Manual). The TRS designation is a cooperative management arrangement and not a distinct legal status for the Ramsar Sites involved.
There are presently 16 Transboundary Ramsar Sites, 15 of them in the European region and one in Africa (www.ramsar.org/trs).