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21 August 2018

The custodians of the protected areas – Guardians of nature removed by the Romanian Government

The NGO Federation „Coalition Natura 2000” Romania alarmed about the changes by the Romanian Government recent adoption of the Governmental Ordinance 75/2018 of the environmental legislation removing the custodians from 530 protected areas. The ordinance was issued over-night, without any prior consultation with the stakeholders. The cause for the change is the simplification of the process to grant permits for the infrastructure projects, centralizing the process to approve investments in protected areas. The Ministry of Environment, the institution in charge of nature conservation, unfairly blames the custodians for the delay or failure of some infrastructure projects, without considering that these delays were usually a direct consequence of the poor quality of the environmental impact studies. According to the Coalition Natura 2000 says the EGO 75/2018 also represents a discrimination of the environmental NGOs, 60 organizations being removed from the custodian position, without allowing them to take part in the management of the protected areas which requires special teams, with high capabilities and expertise. Hence, the GO proves the intention of the ministry not only to cancel the custody but also to discriminatorily eliminate the NGOs from the management of the protected areas. By eliminating the custodians, those who protected the environmental values have no possibility to advocate for nature when the planned investments will destroy the biodiversity of the protected areas. CEEweb strongly opposes any legislative changes that will lead to deterioration of biodiversity, standing against truly sustainable development and cutting off the society from decision making and nature management. Read the full press release: Comunicat Conferinta presa OUG 75_ ENG and the background material: Info complementare.