The United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) has released more than four million dollars for the Romanian Government over the past five years for a better planning of the biodiversity management in the context of the climate change, UNPD Resident Representative Yesim Oruc Kaya said on Tuesday, during the European Day of Parks.
„The financial aid granted by the UNDP also aims to establish the manner the protected areas should gradually receive heftier funds, as they are underfunded while barely 50 percent of their expenses are covered,” the UNDP Representative said.
He said Romania provides sanctuary for the last ecosystem in Europe, practically the continent’s genetic heritage, and protecting these areas is crucial as they harbour species of plants and animals virtually extinct in other European countries.
„Approaching the issues related to forest conservation is even more important for Romania as 27 percent of the wooded areas provide safe haven to thriving populations of three rare species, on the verge of extinction in other European countries, such as the wolf, the bear and the Eurasian lynx, but also 250,000 hectares of old-growth forest and one of the largest IFL (intact forest landscape) in the temperate climate European region,” Yesim Oruc Kaya added.
UNDP, jointly with Romsilva, the National Forestry Administration, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has engaged in a partnership programme running from January 2010 to December 2013, focusing on the protected areas in the Carpathians, the natural and national parks, a project meant to ascertain the management models for national parks and also market-based financial mechanisms able to lead to a better funding for parks and a growing awareness of the decision-makers about the economic aspects behind the conservation attempts.
The first park to be declared national in Romania was Retezat National Park in 1935. There are 13 national parks, 14 natural parks and the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. The total surface covered by the biosphere reserves, the national and natural parks in Romania amounts to 1,203,340 ha, accounting for 5.04 percent of Romania’s territory.