According to a press release from the Ministry of the Environment, Barna Tánczos presented the measures that the ministry has taken or will implement in terms of protecting forests and combating illegal tree cutting, as well as in the management of the brown bear population in Romania.
“Since the filing of the petitions you are investigating, we have taken significant steps to address these issues. We implemented a new electronic timber tracking and management system, known as SUMAL, to increase transparency and reduce illegal logging. Regarding SUMAL 2.0, I want to highlight the significant progress we have made in promoting transparency and combating illegal logging. Through the Forest Inspector application, which is accessible to the general public, more than 13 million transport queries were made per year. This remarkable number highlights the active involvement of the public, which has proven to be our strongest ally in the fight against illegal logging,” said the Romanian dignitary.
The minister also mentioned the creation of a new National Forest Strategy, which establishes the vision for the sustainable management of forests and outlines the actions that will be taken to achieve this. Funding programs have also been established for the planting of new forests, which will help increase forest cover and provide important habitats for wildlife.
“I would also like to address the issue of brown bear population management, which I understand is of great concern to the petitioners. We recognize the importance of this species in our ecosystem and are committed to ensuring its conservation, also addressing the needs of local communities. We have taken measures to preserve the brown bear population in Romania, but the protection of human life and the prevention of human-bear conflicts are priorities for us”, the minister emphasized.
In 2018, the Ministry of the Environment approved the national action plan for the conservation of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) population in Romania. This plan is a strategic document, for 10 years, which establishes action and conservation measures, in accordance with the action plans for the brown bear species, agreed at the international/European level. At the same time, MMAP runs the project “Implementation of the national action plan for the conservation of the brown bear population in Romania”, financed by POIM, in the amount of 10 million euros. Among the objectives of this project are: the long-term maintenance of the current state of conservation of the brown bear population and its habitat, the monitoring and genetic estimation of the brown bear population, the acquisition and installation of protection systems for domestic animals, agricultural crops and material goods.
The Minister of the Environment reminded of GEO 81, entered into force in 2021, which regulated the immediate intervention against dangerous bears to protect human life and presented the financing program for electric fences, with a budget of 70 million lei, aimed at protecting wildlife species. Barna Tánczos highlighted the results of the latest study estimating the brown bear population in Romania. According to him, there are between 7,536 and 8,093 brown bears on the territory of our country and he announced the preparation of a new ministerial order with active measures, which will provide for the prevention quotas for this species.
Between 15-18 May, eight MEPs are in Romania to discuss with government officials, local authorities and residents, NGOs and other environmental experts regarding forest management and the brown bear population. They will go to Bucharest, Sfântu Gheorghe and Suceava.
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