Currently available funding
There are currently no calls for proposal.
Why is the programme needed? Romania has the most unique and high level of biodiversity and intact ecological systems in Europe. The vast reed beds of the Danube Delta, the high density of large carnivores and the extensive forests covering the Carpathian Mountains are some of the most significant and best known aspects attesting Romania's biological richness. Europe's largest wetland, the Danube Delta, lies predominantly in Romania. Major grasslands, caves and an extensive network of rivers add to the country's ecosystem richness. As much as 47% of the country's surface bears natural and semi-natural ecosystems. In 2008 it was estimated that the annual loss of ecosystem services in Romania was equivalent to €50 billion. Human well-being is dependent upon a wide range of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services include supplies like water, food and fuel, but also nature’s ability to self-regulate and cultural services that could form the basis of tourism. These are often public goods with no markets and no prices. A variety of pressures resulting from population growth, changing diets, urbanisation and climate change is causing biodiversity to decline and ecosystems to being degraded. The protection of ecosystems and halting the loss of biodiversity is therefore a challenge that needs to be addressed, both from an environmental point of view and considering the economic and social benefits resulting from the resources that ecosystems provide. The overall aim of the programme is to address and reverse the degradation of ecosystem services and contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity in Romania. This includes addressing challenges such as the loss and fragmentation of habitats as well as integration of biodiversity aspects into sectorial policies. Currently biodiversity and ecosystems data are dispersed among various authorities and scientific communities. The programme will address this through the gathering all relevant information in one database. The information will be accessible to the public administration, scientific environments, NGOs and the general public. Pollution, the damming of rivers, hydrological works, industrial agriculture, over exploitation of natural resources, among other factors, have all taken their toll in decreasing biodiversity. The programme will address this degradation through up to four large scale ecosystem restoration schemes in areas that have been degraded as a result of human activity. What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries? The overall aim of the aim of the programme is to address the degradation of ecosystem services, enhance the knowledge of their economic contribution and contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity in Romania. This includes addressing challenges such as the loss and fragmentation of habitats, methodologies and competence on ecological corridors and the restoration of degraded areas as well as integration of biodiversity aspects and their economic value into sectorial policies. At the moment, the biodiversity and ecosystems data are dispersed among various authorities and scientific communities. The programme will address this through the gathering all relevant information in one database. The information will be accessible to the public administration, scientific environments, NGOs and the general public. Moreover, the programme will address the lack of public awareness and education in relation to biodiversity.How will it be achieved? The programme is focused on activities relating to ecosystem services and biodiversity, including: - An assessment of the extent and quality of existing data spread among various stakeholders - Development of a national ecosystems database for centralising all current and new data - Five studies on contributions of protected areas to main economic sectors. The studies will feed into a white paper to the Romanian parliament; - Building capacities on payment for ecosystem services in partnership with up to 30 local communities; - Develop a methodology for identification of ecological corridors; - Training on evaluation of the economic value of ecosystem services and ecological corridors for up to 100 staff - Large scale restoration of up to four degraded ecosystems How will bilateral relations be strengthened? The programme will strengthen cooperation between Donor State and Romanian entities and will contribute to consolidation of bilateral relations in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management has been involved in the planning of the programme and will continue to take part in the implementation. Who can apply for funding under this programme? The eligible applicants include public authorities involved in biodiversity and ecosystems management and environmental NGOs. There will be three open calls on the contribution of protected areas (PAs) to main economic sectors, identification of ecological corridors and ecosystems restoration schemes. The programme also includes one Small Grant Scheme on “Identification of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES’s)”with a grant range of €25,000 to €100,000.What are the partnership opportunities? There are good partnership opportunities in the programme, and the programme will support potential Project Promoters in establishing partnerships with similar entities in the donor states. Three calls for project proposals will be published during the fourth quarter of 2013 with the exception of the Small Grant Scheme which will be published in the first quarter of 2014. The calls are open for bilateral partnerships.