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The efficacy of Romania’s protected areas network in conserving biodiversity

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Ioja, I.C., Patroescu, M., Rozylowicz, L., Popescu, D.V., Verghelet, M., Zotta, M.I., Felciuc, M

Editorial: Biological Conservation, 143(11), p.2468-2476, 2010.


Romania’s protected areas network currently covers 19.29% of the national territory, a significant increase from the 4.1% protected prior to 1989. The increase occurred over the past 20 years with the creation of 27 National and Natural Parks, and recently of 382 protected areas as part of the pan-European Natura 2000 network. Considering the recent increase in number and area of protected lands, we investigated two core topics critical to achieving conservation goals: (1) conservation value and (2) resources for conservation. The newly created Natura 2000 sites overlapped 96.19% of the existing protected areas network, generating up to three different protection statuses for some sites. Conservation goals were often unclear, as the focus switched to protecting species and habitats of European-level concern. Despite the fivefold increase in protected area, many ecoregions were poorly represented in the new system. Planning for conservation neither involved the local communities nor utilized principles for spatial prioritization. Over 80% of the species of European conservation concern were included in at least one protected area, but plants and invertebrates were underrepresented. Administrative bodies were generally under-staffed and poorly financed, conditions that were reflected in a poor enforcement and implementation of conservation goals. Overall, Romania shares many conservation concerns with other Eastern and Central European countries. A regional approach to conserving biodiversity based on spatial prioritization, rigorous scientific documentation, and social acceptance is needed for the Natura 2000 network to achieve its goals.

Cuvinte cheie: Protected areas; Efficacy; Natura 2000; Management; Romania; Pan-European network