NGOs call for measures to protect Bucharest’s delta
Almost 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have signed an open letter demanding environment minister Costel Alexe and Adi Croitoru, the president of the National Agency for Protected Natural Areas, to take measures to protect the Vacaresti Nature Park in Bucharest, also known as Bucharest's delta.
They ask the authorities to approve the park's regulation; to identify and implement solutions to ensure the security of the park as soon as possible; to implement critical measures for water management and biodiversity conservation; to adopt the management plan drawn up by the Vacaresti Nature Park Association, submit it to public debate and approve it by the end of 2020; and to use the budget allocated through the Environmental Fund Administration to implement the urgent management measures and of the management plan.
"The legislative changes in July 2018 (OUG 75/2018) eliminated non-governmental organizations' possibility to manage natural protected areas further and provided no viable alternative. The National Agency for Protected Natural Areas (ANANP), the responsible authority that took over the management of protected areas, failed to find the solutions and resources needed to maintain at least the previous administration stage, which resulted in the continuous degradation of Romania's natural heritage. Meanwhile, Romania is undergoing an infringement procedure because of its incapacity to protect and manage the Nature 2000 network," the NGOs said in the open letter.
They say the Vacaresti Nature Park is in the same situation, as two years after ANANP took over its management, "the park no longer has a dedicated management structure, a scientific committee, an advisory board or a team of rangers."
"The park's regulation is not approved; the management plan, an essential document for the park's management, is not approved. The visiting infrastructure is degrading. A consequence of the absence of management measures is a troubling decrease in the water level, the expansion of the reed areas and the invasive flora and fauna species," the letter reads.
The Vacaresti Natural Park Association signs the open letter, together with other local NGOs such as WWF Romania, the Romanian Ornithological Society, Conservation Carpathia, Ecopolis, ActiveWatch, Milvus Group, and Greenpeace Romania.
Irina Marica, email@example.com
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