National Report of Romania for COP7

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National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6

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Contracting Party Romania
Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection
Full name of the institution

Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection, Department for Environmental Protection

Name and title of the head of the institution dr. Romica TOMESCU, Minister of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection
Mailing address for the head of the institution

B.-dul Libertatii No. 12, Bucharest - 70542, ROMANIA

Telephone +040-1-4100246
Fax +040-1-3124227
E-mail .
Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters Adriana BAZ, Director of Biodiversity Conservation and Protected Areas Management

Romulus Stiuca

Mailing address (if different) for the designated contact officer

Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection, B.-dul Libertatii No. 12, Bucharest - 70542, ROMANIA

Danube Delta Research and Design Institute, 165 Babadag street, TULCEA - 8800, ROMANIA

Telephone +040-1-4100215

040 40 524546

Fax +040-1-4100282

040 40 524547

E-mail --

icpdd@tlx.ssitl.ro


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.

In the frame of the National Wetland Inventory project we are working together with the Hungarian authorities to designate the wetlands from "Cefa" area (in the western part of Romania) as transboundary protected wetland and as part of a Romanian-Hungarian Natural Park and an other one "Valea Tisei" Natural Reserve, with Ukraine authorities in order to create a transboundary biosphere reserve (Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve and Dunavskie Plavni Nature Reserve) with Yugoslavian authorities for "Iron Gates" Natural Park and "Djerdap" National Park, with Moldavia authorities in case of transboundary reserve "Valea Prutului".


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:

Yes, Romania has a National Wetland Strategy and Action Plan, developed in 1996 as part of the National Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation.

a. What are/will be its main features?

The National Wetland Strategy and Action Plan

  • gives a synthetically overview on the actual status of the wetlands from Romania;
  • gives an overview on the educational, institutional and legislative aspects of the wetland protection in Romania;
  • identified the main problems faced by the wetlands (endangered species and habitats);
  • established the national objectives and the actions to be taken in order to implement the National Strategy, as follows:
  • improvements of the wetland protection policy and legislation;
  • necessary in-situ and ex-situ conservation actions.

b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.

The National Wetland Strategy and Action Plan was adopted in 1996 by the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters (Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection), as part of the National Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation.

c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?

The National Wetland Strategy and Action Plan is part of the National Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation and Action Plan, adopted in 1996 by the Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection, and its objectives are included in the National Strategy for Environment Protection.

2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?

This policy is in progress, being developed the National Wetland Inventory in the 1997 - 2002 period. Scarcity of the available funds and institutional capacity shortcoming are the major difficulties encountered by this national project.

2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :

a. a single Government Ministry,

the Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection;

The institution of the above mentioned Ministry are responsible for providing data on the status of the wetlands of Romania, as follows:

  • the Danube Delta Research and Design Institute have projects focused on diversity, sustainable use, ecological reconstruction, impact assessment, of the Danube Delta, on characterization of the wetlands and identification of new sites to be included in the national network of protected areas from Romania and on detailed description of the potential Ramsar sites from Romania.

  • the Environmental Protection Agencies (there is one EPA in each of the 40 counties of Romania) have monitoring programs for certain lakes and sections of several rivers

b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?

2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No   If yes, please give details.

Romania hasn't got a Federal system of Government.

2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.

The technical compartments of the Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection have carried out the details of implementing the new laws focused on environmental issues, adopted by the Romanian Parliament. The changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention consist in the existence of a national project focused on identification of new Ramsar Sites and the beginning of the cooperation between the Department for Environmental Protection and the NGOs focused on environmental issues.

2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:

a. national

At national level there are the following:

  • Legislation, Strategies and the Action Plans, including Physical Planing.

  • the National Wetland Inventory project which select unprotected wetlands for the national network of protected areas.

b. provincial

  • EPAs provide the protection and conservation of the wetlands through the permitting provisions with respect to the activities with environmental impact.

  • There are efforts made in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, to implement the management plan for wise use of the natural resources of this Ramsar Site. Some projects are carried out by NGOs, e.g.: ECOS (wetlands from Northwestern Dobrogea), ECOTUR (Olt river), SOR - Romanian Ornithological Society (important avifaunistical areas from Romania).

c. local

At local level there are the EPA are responsible for taking place of the measures for environmental protection and conservation; EPA programmes and several NGO projects to assess the ecological status of the aquatic environments. We can mention some of the NGO which will carry out projects in the 1998 - 1999 period: "Al. BORZA" Foundation (Danube floodplain at Braila city), "NERA" Ecological Group (Danube tributaries in Caras-Severin county), AMONIT (wetlands from Neamt county).

2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No   If Yes, please provide details and copies.

No.

2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).

There are legislatures measures includes in Law 137/1995 on Environmental Protection and Governmental Decision 172/1997 and set-up of National Register of Potential Toxic Chemicals.

2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.

In case of the Danube Delta there are periodical fish stock, reed stock, touristic and therapeutically value assessments and economic evaluations of the pastures and reeds, and of the eco-touristical possibilities in the Danube Delta.

2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No

Yes

2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No.  If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.

Yes.  A survey is ongoing aiming to establish the data of each wetland. For some wetlands e.g. the Danube Floodplains ecological reconstruction provision have been set, but which due to the lack of finance, hadn’t been applied.

2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).

There have been undertaken some actions e.g. those in Danube Delta or those indicated at 2.6.

On non-governmental level there is a project carried out by the Youth Organization ECOS (fund provided by the Regional Environmental Center) which is focused on the potential involvement of the local communities in the conservation and wise use of the wetlands from northwestern Dobrogea (where there is a potential Ramsar Site).

To Romania, the active taking part of local communities to the conservation of wetlands, is not yet much relevant.

2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No   If yes, please provide details.

Partially.  For instance, in the Danube Delta Reserve, all the inhabitants have the right to fish without any taxes for own home consumption. Private people involved in the green-tourism (including the green-tourism in the Danube Delta) have taxation arrangements (first 10 years of activity without taxes).


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No?   If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)

No, there is no government-run national program for Education and Public Awareness in Romania.

3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.

There are some wetland issues as part of the curricula of primary and secondary education institutions. Curricula of Faculties of Biology (of several Universities) contain lectures on features of aquatic systems (e.g. "Hidrobiology") or lectures that contain wetland protection issues, as part of the general environmental protection issues.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.

In the frame of the National Wetland Inventory project, the leading team from the Danube Delta Research and Design Institute has permanent contact with governmental institutes involved in local projects focused on wetlands (Biological Institute of the Romanian Academy; Institute of Geography of the Romanian Academy; biological institutes from Cluj, and Iasi; Ecological Departments of Universities from Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Constanta, etc; EPA from several counties on which territory there are notable wetlands). At the same time the leading team is in contact with several NGOs developing programs on wetland issues (Romanian Ornithological Society; ECOS - Tulcea, ECOTUR - Sibiu, Ecological Department of PRO EUROPA LIGA - Tirgu Mures; OSS SILVA - Brasov; ECO CLUB - Odorhei, etc.).

There is NO National Ramsar / Wetland Committee.

4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:

a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.

There have NOT been undertaken a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?

There have NOT been undertaken a review to identify the training opportunities.

c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.

There have NOT been undertaken the development of training modules or training program specifically for wetland managers.

d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.

Yes, people from Romania have gained wetland-related training within and outside the country. There are periodically organized training for employees of the EPAs. Those who have gained wetland-related training, were invited by institutions from USA (Conservation Training Consortium - Aquatic Systems), Holland (Directorate General for Water and Wastewater Management - RIZA), Germany (WWF - Institute for Floodplain Ecology), etc.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:

a. being prepared?
b. fully prepared?
c. being implemented?

The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (at the time being the only one Ramsar Site in Romania) has a management plan which is implemented.

Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.

5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.

The management plan of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve includes a monitoring program to allow changes in ecological character to be detected.

5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.

Yes, there has been a change in the ecological character of the Danube Delta. Several abandoned polders were rehabilitated or they are under ecological reconstruction. Colonies of the birds are protected, there is a slight increase in the number of nesting pelicans (Pelicanus crispus, Pelecanus onocrotalus), cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Industrial exploitation of green frogs decreased, industrial exploitation of the sand-dunes from the proper delta was stopped, industrial reed cutting hasn't got long-term negative effects on the reed-beds.

5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?

In Romania there are no Montreux sites

5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.

More information needed.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No.

NO, there has not been prepared yet a national wetland inventory.

If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No.

In the 1997 - 2002 period is carried out the National Wetlands Inventory project

Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.

6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.

Yes, there is a list of "important" wetlands of Romania. It was finalized in 1997 and it is kept at the Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection and at the Danube Delta Research and Design Institute. The criteria for "important" were:

  • the wetland is part of the national network of protected areas or

  • the wetland is proposed to be included in the national network of protected areas: unic places, natural habitats where there are notable species, important fauna (ihtiofauna, herpetofauna, ornitofauna) areas, etc.

6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities. If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.

There are 1,100,000 ha surfaces covered by waters in Romania: this estimation takes into account natural and artificial lakes, river courses, canals and channels, the Danube Delta and Razim-Sinoe lagoonary system and the coastal marine water.

6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:

Yes, there are action taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations:

a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2),

along the lower Danube river there were identified spawning sites of sturgeons, species highly endangered in the Danube catchment area;

b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),
c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),
d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)
e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)
f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)

study of the peatland ecosystems is part of the National Wetland Inventory project.

6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.

In the frame of the National Wetland Inventory project there have been carried out detailed floristical and faunistical studies on about 30 wetlands, being selected 8 sites which meet the criteria of Wetlands of International Importance. Final report will be prepared in June 1999.

6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).

Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.

6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).

In the 1997 - 1998 period there were contacts with Hungarian authorities in order to establish a transfrontier protected area that will include Cefa fishponds (Romania) and Biharugra fishponds (Hungary). In the same period there were contacts between the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (Romania) and representatives from Dunaiskie Plavni Nature Reserve (Ukraine).


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).

In 1997 and 1998 there were several meetings on the Romanian-Hungarian border area. People of all levels (State Secretary, EPA, mayors, scientists, etc.) discussed the possibility of establishing of a transboundary Romanian-Hungarian National Park, which will include Cefa fishponds (Romania) and Biharugra fishponds (Hungary).

In case of Romanian - Ukrainian joint program there were organized training courses for wardens.

7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

Yes. Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (Romania) is "twinned" with Rhone Delta (Camargue, France).

7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:

a. Convention on Biological Diversity
b. Framework Convention on Climate Change
c. Convention to Combat Desertification
d. Convention on Migratory Species
e. World Heritage Convention

Romania is a Party of all this Conventions: Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on Climate Change, Convention to Combat Desertification, Convention on Migratory Species, World Heritage Convention. MWFEP is the official body in charge with the enforcement of these Conventions. Thus it provides the observance of the measures undertaken to enforce these Conventions with Ramsar provision.

7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

Romania is signatory of African-Eurasian Migratory Water Bird Agreement.

7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

Yes. The biggest part the expenses necessary for the detailed description of the potential Ramsar Sites is provided by the Romanian Ministry for Research and Technology, supplementary funds being provided by the Ramsar Small Grant Fund, the World Bank - GEF and funds provided by Holland’s government.

7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget?

Yes, the Romanian Government makes an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands in Danube Delta.

7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No.

7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.

No.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.

8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.

No.


Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.

At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.

In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country? Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.

Number of International NGOs: 2

National/provincial organizations: cca 50

9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:

a. to each other? Yes/No

No.

b. to the government? Yes/No

Yes. At the Romanian Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection, Department for Environmental Protection, there is a special Office for relation with the NGOs responsible for organizing workshops on conservation issues (including wetland conservation issues).

9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No

Not decided yet.

9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).

Yes. The Regional Environmental Center provides for the 1998 - 1999 period grants for the following NGO that have projects aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in Romania:

  • AMONIT - Piatra Neamt (raising awareness for protected aquatic systems)

  • ECOS Youth Organization (projects focused on involvement of local communities in developing a management plan for wise use of potential Ramsar sites);

  • EXPLORATORII Speologica Association (raising public awareness for conservation of floodplains from the Danube's Iron Gate area)

9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details

No.

9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.

The national/provincial NGOs seem to be most active in the themes of the:

  • General Objective 3 (Raise awareness of wetland values)

  • General Objective 5 (especially "To obtain regularly updated information on wetlands of international importance");

  • General Objective 6 (To designate for the List new sites)


Final comments:

10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

At the time being there are two scientific projects focused on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan. Both of the projects are carried out by the Danube Delta Research and Design Institute.

10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:

a. The Ramsar Standing Committee
b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel
c. The Ramsar Bureau
d. The Ramsar NGO partners

10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.


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Annex: Country Table of Romania

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