Natura 2000 and Rural Development in Romania

Project completed

The project was aimed at improving the implementation of the EU Natura 2000 and national protected area network and was promoting sustainable rural development in Romania by demonstrating local development opportunities related to protected areas, better integration of protected area and natural resource management in infrastructure planning and regional development and improving long-term financial support for protected area and natural resource management. The project was part of the thematic fund civil society participation in Romania.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Protecting the environment
01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016
CHF  993’053
Target groups


  • Local communities in Natura 2000 sites
  • Natural resource administrators
  • National authorities and their regional/local representatives
  • Natura 2000 site administrators
  • NGO Coalition Natura 2000
  • Judges and legal advisors



Activities Project activities were focused in two regions that have been chosen for their potential to serve as models thanks to their special characteristics: Hartibaciu Plateau in central Transylvania and Maramures. The project developed model activities demonstrating opportunities for income generation that contribute to protected area and sustainable resource management. Skills of stakeholders on communication and conflict resolution have been improved through training. Technical and Legal Expert Groups have been established to address especially conflicts related to infrastructure development and management and protection of Natura 2000 areas. On county level the project established planning groups in order to improve the use of funds in the next EU financial period. At national level, the project promoted the inclusion of values and benefits of protected areas in the future funding programme. Media work and public events were seeked to magnify the learning and results of the project, in order to achieve greater impact at regional and national levels.

Achieved results:  

  • 9,400 ha of forest from the Stejarul Forest Management Unit have been FSC certified until June 2015
  • around 380 people participated in various workshops, gatherings or trainings
  • the FSC chain-of-custody certification of two logging companies (Lorebeka Ltd. and Patron Impex Ltd.) ensures traceability for the certified wood from this Forest Mangement Unit
  • 1 FSC certificate for Saclee FMU for sustainable forest managment/chain-of-custody
  • 1 chain-of-custody certificatte for the logging company Forserb Ltd
  • At policy level the project gave its input and recommendations for properly addressing natural conservation and environment in the elaboration of the new Maramures County Development Plan and the most important documents regarding the programming of relevant EU funding
  • case studies for shadow assessment selected
  • Legal expert group established and functional. The group consists of 5 lawyers
  • legal expert group and technical advisory group analysed 15 cases of threats to protected areas so far
  • The networking and communication platform is being developed
  • the "Economic potential of the traditional activities with low impact on the Natura 2000 sites within Hartibaciului Plateau" study
  • 70 good practice examples related to local sustainable development in Natura 2000 sites collected
  • business plans and logos for 6 selected entrepreneurs developed
  • "Law on Nature's Side" guideline was printed and disseminated
  • 3 guidelines for improving the planning and implementation of projects concerning wind energy/weind farms, hydropower and motorways published
  • a report compiling 20 of the most relevant examples
    2 promotional movies documenting the activities/services of two entrepreneurs
  • study documenting the preparation and adoption at national level of the Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 network

The project has been completed at an operational level.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Swiss Private Sector

Other partners

Intermediary Body: KEK-CDC Consultants

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    993’053 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    491’310
Project phases Phase 7 01.07.2014 - 30.09.2017   (Completed) Phase 6 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016   (Completed) Phase 5 01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016   (Completed)

Phase 4 01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016   (Completed)

Phase 3 01.04.2013 - 30.04.2016   (Completed) Phase 2 15.05.2012 - 30.11.2019   (Completed) Phase 1 01.07.2011 - 30.11.2019   (Completed)