Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Improving the conservation status of bison in Vânători Neamț National Park

Organisation: Focus Eco Center Website: Added: February 28, 2022
Project start date: March 01, 2007
Project end date: March 31, 2013


This project aimed to improve the conservation status of bison in Romania's Vânători Neamț National Park and to create conditions for a self-sustaining population of the species in the wild. After vanishing centuries ago from the Carpathian Forest, bison were reintroduced to the area in 2012. The bison serves as an umbrella species in the local ecology and helps strengthen ecological balance in wilderness park areas. As of 2019, 30 bison have been released into Vânători Neamț National Park, only the third location in Romania where they roam freely.

Vânători Neamț National Park aims to bringing the bison closer to locals and park visitors through education and information campaigns. Examples include a spectacular walkway that allows park visitors to view the bison from canopy level; and there is plenty museum-like infrastructure for tourists and educational materials for visitors and local students alike. The well-thought-out and environmentally friendly park infrastructure has won high praise from many international organisations, and the park is an honoured member of the EU Commission’s European Destinations of Excellence network (EDEN).

Financial data

Source: 980193 RON (≈200000 EUR) Operational programme ”Environment” 2007–2013, co-funded by European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund


The project realised a management model for a national park, and we can recommend to use the learnings from this project in the management of the other national parks. This is very important because nature protection in general and the management of the protected areas in particular are critically lacking in Romania, and it is desperately needed to have models which combine nature protection with soft tourism. It was also important to elaborate a comprehensive management scheme which goes in the direction of a sustainable (soft) concept in tourism development. The suspended walkway at Vânători Neamț National Park and other realised infrastructure, is quite spectacular, and there are used only local materials (wood) for this infrastructure which is a model of sustainability and reduces significantly the carbon footprint of the whole infrastructure. We believe that such a model can be replicated with success at other national parks in Romania.

Information sources

Other info

The project has follow up and were implemented other projects which continued the achievements of this project.

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.