Protected areas occurrence in Romania is documented. According to HCVF toolkit for Romania, all forest reservations have biodiversity conservation as a constituting objective (HCVF1.1) (Vlad et al., 2013).
As for Rare, threatened, endemic and endangered species, the HCVF toolkit provides an extensive list of plant species and their spatial distribution, as resulted from previous botanical studies. The identification and mapping of RTE is not a task commonly included in the job description of field personnel of the FME, except for the cases where steps towards certification have been taken or in the case that the area is under a Natura 2000 site with drafted management plans.
The forests areas with critical seasonal use are identified through the animal species that fall into this category. In case of commonly known animals (especially large mammals), there is a conservation plan and occurrence data and habitats which can be found in the management plan for protected areas.
Regular forest management planning includes only few functional categories with the function to preserve rare, threatened or endangered species, including bear, chamois, capercaillie, etc. The habitats of lesser known rare or endangered species are not generally identified and mapped, except for the studies done for certification purposes or other local or regional studies (Natura 2000 management plans).
The methodology for approving timber harvests in Parks or Natura 2000 sites includes notification of the custodian who will assess whether the requirements of the management plans are met or not by the type of harvest proposed.
HCV1 occurrence is not applicable in biomass plantations.
Threats & Safeguards identification and evaluation
Protected areas has a low risk of habitat removal/fragmentation and introduction of alien/invasive species, since it is well identified and can be verified through a GIS layer – containing all forest reserves provided by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests (http://ariiprotejate.biodiversity.ro/#). The Management plans are generally considered well implemented in protected areas and HCV1 are considered to be protected. A certain threat may arise from the lack of valid management plans that are in the process of being approved by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests and the inclusion of special management measures in the forest management plan of the protected areas but overall there is not a significant level of risk for this type of forests, included under type I of functional categories – Forests excluded from any intervention.
In Romania, the forest functional zoning system includes several functional categories with the function to preserve rare, threatened or endangered species, including bear, chamois, capercaillie etc. There are cases in which the functional zoning of forests is not sufficiently detailed for the establishment of proper management measures for areas included under RTE and critical seasonal use- (Technical Regulations no. 5/2000).
The risks to HCV 1 connected to habitat fragmentation, loss and invasive species are found especially in the cases of lesser known rare, threatened, endemic or endangered species of plants and animals and is related to the low awareness level of field personnel in the forest administration regarding the species mentioned in the Romanian HCVF toolkit. There is no requirement of systematic identification of HCVs in the management plans of production forests and the HCVs cannot be considered sufficiently protected.
The Fifth National Report of CBD (Convention for Biological Diversity) for Romania mentions significant progress in the biodiversity conservation status reached in the last five years – reintroduction of extinct species of animals, expansion of Natura 2000 network and improving its management, national assessment of conservation status of species and habitats of European Union interest.
The national system for protected areas management includes sufficient measures in the management plans of Natura 2000 sites, parks and reservations. These measures are included after expert and public consultations and reduce the risk of affecting HCV1 by management activities. The risk of HCV 1 values threatened by forest management activities remains specified for the areas with forest vegetation (including forested pastures) that are not included in the system for Protected Areas.
Conservation forest: Low Risk
Production forest and forested pastures: Specified Risk
Biomass plantation: Not applicable for HCV1
- Vlad, R.G., Bucur, C., Turtica, M., (coord.), 2013, A practical guide for the identification and management of high conservation value forests, Editura Green Steps, Brasov, http://certificareforestiera.ro/doc/HCVF%20Toolkit_WWF.pdf
- IORAS F., ABRUDAN I.V., DAUTBASIC, M., AVDIBEGOVIC M., GUREAN, D., RATNASINGAM J. (2009): Conservation Gains through HCVF Assessments in Bosnia – Herzegovina and Romania. Biodiversity and Conservation. Springer Netherlands. Volume 18, Issue 13, pg. 3395-3406.
- Technical regulation no. 5/2000 (Technical regulations for forest management planning)
- Ceroni M. Ecosystem services and the local economy in Maramures Mountains Natural Park, Romania. October 2007. Final Report to the United Nations Development Programme, Bucharest.
- GIS database with the boundaries of protected areas in Romania, http://www.mmediu.ro/articol/date-gis/434
- Natura2000 network viewer: http://natura2000.eea.europa.eu/
- RTE and critical concentrations of species should be identified in the field by scientific experts.
- Harvesting does not take place where species concentrations are likely to and/or specific measures that are designed to protects the HCV value is applied as appropriate.
- Tree species protected under the HCV category 1 according to the HCV toolkit are not harvested.
- Evidence, where RTE species are known to occur, should be provided that forest management activities have been adapted to incorporate the scientific requirements for the protection of HCV 1 provided in Annex 1 of the HCV Guidelines (as demonstrated by forest management plans and/or independent 3rd party audits).
- Inventory data for RTE must be available in the Forest Management Unit or to the environmental authorities, as well as the measures taken for protection of HCV 1 (incl. the management plans of protected areas), and checks must be undertaken that the planned forest activities are in compliance with the protection measures included in the forest management plans and/or independent third party audits.
- Forest management plans that contain the requirements of management plans for Natura 2000 sites and national parks. http://natura2000.eea.europa.eu/# can be used to identify Natura 2000 areas.
- Expert consultation for the identification and validation of HCV1and establishment of control measures mentioned in HCVF Toolkit for Romania:
For Rare, threatened or endangered species:
I. In case of forest based species:
The applied forestry work will meet the ecological requirements of the species that need to be preserved (especially humidity and light) and will be determined after consultations with biologists.
In addition, they will ensure the habitat continuity in that location, either in the same or in the neighbouring forest stand, given that the forest ecosystem has a cyclic evolution, the young stages of development are characterized by the natural lack of grass because of the shadowing effect – i.e. the exaggerate density of sapling/young trees produces an excessive competition for all resources – light, water, nutrients.
Logging shall be carried out outside the growing season of species in order to ensure their reproduction and perpetuation.
Wood extraction will be made with the minimum negative impact on the ground in order to avoid damaging roots and underground reproductive organs (rhizomes, bulbs).
II. In case of species from ecosystems that are bordering the forest:
No works will be carried out that would radically change the species habitat (i.e. drainages, plantations, substitutions etc.).
In order to ensure species reproduction and perpetuation, logging activities in the forest areas neighbouring these ecosystems shall take place outside the growing season of the species.
In particular, wood felling and extraction shall avoid areas (ecosystems) where populations of the species to protect are found.
- Where this is not possible, the work will be carried out only in the dormant season (preferably when the ground is icy and/or snow-covered) in order to avoid damaging the plants and to minimize the damage to the soil and, implicitly to the roots and underground reproductive organs – i.e. rhizomes, bulbs.
For areas of critical seasonal use:
- In principle, forest management must ensure quietness during critical periods in those areas where particular concentrations of species listed in the Annex were identified.
- Also, the proposed management measures aim to create an ecological succession that will ensure the continuity of forest vegetation and the conservation of forest structures enabling them to perform their functions.
- Detailed management recommendations will be implemented from case to case, depending on specific ecological needs and based on public consultation with participation of relevant experts.
For areas that are part of protected areas, the conservation of species will be done according to their management plan.
- It is important to remember that the appropriate way to maintain or enhance each value will depend on the value itself. There are a variety of possible options to maintain or enhance various HCVs, which include:
- Conservation set-asides (e.g. appropriately designed protected areas, buffer zones, habitat corridors)
- Reduced impact harvesting operations (e.g. reduced impact logging techniques or continuous cover forestry)
- Infrastructure planning (e.g. improved road building)
- Scheduling of operations (e.g. planning logging coupe schedules to benefit wildlife)
- Control of hunting and fishing (e.g. managing access and methods, providing affordable protein alternatives)
- Community development and livelihoods projects (e.g. employment and healthcare)
- Local government and NGO support (e.g. extending or renewing leases, preventing inappropriate development, supporting company conservation initiatives).