Solidarity and respect for people and nature | WWF

Solidarity and respect for people and nature

Solidarity and respect for people and nature
© Doru Oprișan

Solidarity and respect for people and nature

Pilot project for developing, testing and enacting the „beneficiary pays” principle for ecosystem services in Romania
In Romania the main causes for biodiversity loss are: ecosystem degradation as a result of unsustainable development, habitat fragmentation, unsustainable practices (hunting or fishing), damage of natural ecosystems, lack of awareness and educational campaigns regarding the need for biodiversity conservation. The importance of ecosystems and their services tends to be underestimated, and the costs associated to them massively neglected.
The ecosystem services represent all the benefits, goods, assets and resources that we receive from nature, which we benefit from individually or those that we rely on our businesses, welfare and the economic development of society.
These services provided are not properly quantified and paid back so that their provision/production is guaranteed over a long period of time. Protected areas management restrictions imposed to ensure conservation of natural ecosystems and ecosystems’ services are not being properly evaluated and consequently there is no chance they will be paid by their beneficiaries.
Our project aims to evaluate the offered ecosystem services and quantify costs and benefits of two groups of ecosystems (forest and freshwater), also the administrative costs of direct beneficiaries of the analyzed ecosystems in the protected area of Maramureș Mountain Nature Park, with the ultimate scope of improving policy frameworks. These results can be then up scaled at a national level and used for raising the awareness among decision makers of the importance of protected areas for the economy and human wellbeing.
Project’s objectives
The project was designed to answer Romania’s urgent need to cover and improve policy frameworks and decision making gaps regarding biodiversity. These policy shortcomings result from the lack of scientific information on ecosystems and the services they provide to individuals, businesses and communities and from the missing proper legal framework. The project aims to contribute to stopping biodiversity loss in Romania by improving the legal framework, by improving biodiversity policies and by ensuring fair compensatory schemes.
The general objective of the project is to improve the knowledge and the awareness on the importance and the value of ecosystems integrity and of the ecosystems services provided to the society, on the contribution of natural ecosystems from protected areas to Romania’s economic sectors and to offer recommendations, actions and initiatives in the subsequent policies.
Expected results
Overall, the projects expected results will reflect an improvement in the knowledge and the awareness, in the legal framework, in the policies regarding protected areas ecosystems’ contribution to the economic sector.
Beneficiaries, final users and providers of identified services will be actively involved and engaged in in consultation processes that would result in policy recommendations.
The lack of knowledge problem and the understanding of the value of natural ecosystems in protected areas and of the services provided, will be addressed though comprehensive studies assessing the forest and freshwater ecosystems and their services (inventory, classification, mapping).
The lack of awareness problem of the targeted audience (beneficiaries, users and providers of ecosystem services, general public) will be addressed through disemination of specific information materials whitin a dedicated awareness raising campaing, also with the production of a film to be screened for free for the general public in several cities in Romania.
Another result of te project will be the inclusion of the Payments for Ecosystem Services concept in education: an optional class on ecosystem services will be designed for the students of the Forestry Faculty in Suceava as pilot and could be later included in the curriculum of other similar faculties in the country.
Where do we work?
The project will be implemented in the Maramureș Mountains Nature Park, the largest nature park in Romania which, in 2005 was designated as a protected area of national interest in the category of Nature Parks.
Maramureș Mountains Nature Park (MMNP) was mainly established for the conservation of landscape and local traditions, for the protection of the natural, spiritual and cultural heritage of the area, for the sustainable management of forests and for encouraging sustainable tourism based on these values. Furthermore, due to the presence of priority habitats and species, MMNP was designated as a NATURA 2000 site (ROSCI0124 and ROSPA0131 Maramureș Mountains).
Maramureș Mountains Nature Park (MMNP) is located in the northern part of Maramureș county, at the border of Carpathians  Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine, close to the Borșa, Moisei, Vișeu de Sus, Viseu de Jos, Leordina, Ruscova, Repedea, Poienile de sub Munte, Petrova and Bistra localities, including the Maramureș Mountains, up to the Romanian –Ukrainian border. The park’s total surface is 133.354 ha.
Maramureș Mountains Nature Park includes forestry lands, grasslands, rivers and peatbogs and other types of land with different uses on the territory of the Maramureş County, respectively in Forest Districts Borşa, Vişeu, Ruscova and Poienile de Sub Munte.
The project is being implemented by WWF România as Project Promotor in partnership with NFA Romsilva, Maramureș Mountains Nature Park Administration, University of Bucharest Department of Systems Ecology and Sustainability, Suceava University Ștefan cel Mare, Forestry Faculty.

The "Solidarity and respect for people and nature - pilot project for developing, testing and promoting laws of the" beneficiary pays "for environmental services in Romania" project is financed with the amount of 449,980.92 Euros by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA ) 2009 - 2014, under the Programme RO02 - "Biodiversity and ecosystem services" Program Operator Ministry of the Environment, Water and Forests and will end on April 30, 2016.
SOLIDARON -PES Pay Pilot contributes to fullfilling the general objective of the RO02 Programme: Biodiversity and ecosystem services from the EEA 2009 – 2014 Financial Mechanism: implementing solutions in the problem of degrading ecosystem services, enhance the knowledge regarding the ecosystem services contribution to the economy and halting biodiversity loss in Romania.
Through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing social and economic disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with the beneficiary countries in Europe.

	© WWF
Through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing social and economic disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with the beneficiary countries in Europe.