We support the decision of the Ministry of the Environment, Waters and Forests (MMAP) to start the process of identifying potential strict protection areas, according to the guidelines of the General Directorate for the Environment of the European Commission.
In this regard, we sent a letter to MMAP last week in which we included WWF's proposals regarding the criteria that should be used in the process of identifying and deciding strict protection areas. The criteria refer to forest habitats and areas in the national forestry fund, taking into account the high conservation values that are specific at national level and the principle of multiple protection roles.
The European Biodiversity Strategy 2030 aims for at least 10% of the EU land area and 10% of the EU marine area to be under strict protection. In this context, WWF supported the protection of 10% of the country's forests until 2030 (ie: approx. 700,000 ha), in order to maintain biodiversity, preserve the genetic fund and the natural processes we depend on.
We believe it is necessary to set up a legal framework that enables not only operational financial compensation mechanisms for land owners who are subject to resource levy restrictions, but also implements measures that target a fair transition for the local communities which are indirectly affected by the protection regime and which, traditionally, are involved in processing and capitalizing on these natural resources.
The proposals aim for an integrated strategic approach regarding the clear process to decide these areas, according to the strategic action directions and the result objectives included into the National Forestry Strategy (SNP30), enforced at the end of last year.
The reform of the protected natural areas management system, targeting the coherent and effective implementation of the European Biodiversity Strategy, is supported by Investment 3.2 Identifying the potential areas of strict protection in terrestrial and marine natural habitats in the view of enforcing the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, an investment initiated and supported by WWF within the development process of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for Romania (PNRR).