This project will contribute to finding solutions to the problem of degradation of ecosystem services, to the increase of knowledge on their contribution to different sectors and halting biodiversity loss in Romania. The custodians and local authorities will be able to develop the environmental infrastructure in the protected areas so that it can provide an increase in economic value, allowing the restoration of degraded ecosystems, providing protection and conservation. Identification of opportunities for implementing the solutions to the problem of ecosystem services degradation, increase of the level of knowledge on their contribution to the economy and halt loss of biodiversity in Romania. Awareness increase on the economic value and contribution of protected natural areas and Natura 2000 sites in the custody of Bihor County Council and Tarii Crisurilor Museum to different economic sectors, with 50% in a period of 12 months. Increase of involvement within the local communities in the protection and conservation of the environment by the training of at least 20 rangers for the protected natural areas within six months. Enhancing the protection degree of protected natural areas and Natura 2000 sites by conducting an awareness campaign of the importance of environmental protection over a period of 3 months. As outputs: 1 study on the contribution of ecosystem services in the protected areas on the main economic sectors within Natura 2000 sites in the custody of Bihor County Council and Tarii Crisurilor Museum, 3 reports that provide advice on the current policies, at least 20 young people trained from the local communities and custodians of the protected areas in Bihor in the field of environment. Targeted groups: custodians of protected areas, local governments, environmental agencies, local communities.
Summary of project results
The EcoNatura project implementation was important for the proposed north-western area of Romania: all 4 sites included in the project had no management plans. Project targeted 3 specific objectives eligible within RO 02 programme: (1) Increase knowledge of the economic value and contribution of protected natural areas and Natura2000 sites held by the Bihor County Council and the Crişului County Museum in different economic sectors, with 50% over a 12-month period. The objective was achieved by carrying out of a study on the economic value of the natural protected areas and of the Natura 2000 sites included in the project (printed in 100 copies; published on www.econaturabihor.ro
). As important results might be mentioned: 4 detailed biodiversity reports, 4 reports of anthropogenic activities impact and a GIS database realized for the selected Natura2000 sites. (2) Increase the involvement of local communities in the protection and preservation of the environment through the creation of a minimum number of 20 rangers for the protected natural areas within 6 months. In this sense a ranger course was organized. 30 persons received a certificate in the ranger occupation. Three of the graduates were hired by Natura2000 sites custodians. A web application (Mobile Applications for EcoNatura Reports; from Android and iOS operating system application stores) was developed, implemented and might be used for reporting incidents encountered by users in the Natura2000 sites. The application is backed by a GIS database (project website - EcoMaps section). (3) Increase the protection of protected natural areas and Natura2000 sites by carrying out a campaign to raise the awareness of the importance of environmental protection for a period of 3 months. A web site was created for wider project results visibility. Also, 2 project conferences were realized, dissemination materials were distributed in schools/municipalities belonging to selected Natura2000 sites, 8 informative panels were installed, a round table "Results & conclusions within EcoNatura project" was organized, two articles were published in a daily national coverage newspaper, and a Natura 2000 presentation film was produced and broadcast. The film was posted on the project website www.econaturabihor.ro
and Facebook page. The EcoNatura project increased knowledges, helped and provided solution (web application) to involve communities in protecting habitats and to stop degradation of ecosystem services.
Summary of bilateral results