HCV2:

Occurrence

Greenpeace Romania identified an Intact Forest Landscape in the Retezat-Godeanu-Tarcu mountains.
The studies of the Romanian Forest Research and Management Planning Institute (ICAS) confirmed the identification of this IFL (Fratila, 2007). There is no management plan for 15% of the IFL area, as mentioned in the “National strategy and action plan for biodiversity conservation 2014-2020”.

However, according to Global Forest Watch, the Intact Forest Landscape mapped in the Retezat-Godeanu-Tarcu mountains is considered degraded during the period between 2000 and 2013.

The criteria for other HCV2 area in the Romanian toolkit include: the presence of a forest landscape with areas larger than 50,000 ha, of which at least 35,000 ha are forests and from the total forest area, minimum 5,000 ha forest ecosystems have a primary structure and is not fragmented by infrastructure.

These thresholds are not met by forest areas in Romania, since the forests are fragmented by localities and road infrastructure; and the areas occupied by forests with confirmed primary structure do not cover a core area of more than 5000 hectares.

According to old definition (HCVF Toolkit for Romania, 2005), the HCV2 thresholds were landscapes larger than 10.000 ha out of which at least 7,000 ha are covered by forests and artificial forests cover less than 20% of the total area. In such a case, most of the national or natural parks in Romania would have qualified for HCV2. Even if the old definition was applicable, the risks for conversion or fragmentation would be minimum in such areas, since conversion to other land use is forbidden by law
and any forest regeneration or afforestation has to follow the regulations that impose a species composition given by the natural forest type (Technical Regulations 1/2000). Any infrastructure construction in parks or Natura 2000 sites would undergo significant public consultation before receiving the environmental permit.

Threats & Safeguards identification and evaluation

There is no management plan for 15% of the IFL area in the Retezat-Godeanu-Tarcu mountains, as mentioned in the “National strategy and action plan for biodiversity conservation 2014-2020”. According to Global Forest Watch, the Intact Forest Landscape mapped in the Retezat-Godeanu-Tarcu mountains is considered degraded in the period between 2000 and 2013. Furthermore, IFLs in the Retezat Godeanu Tarcu Mountains have been known to be confronted with fragmentation issues, specifically the building of road DN 66A. The construction has been postponed due to lawsuits intended by environmental agencies regarding the fragmentation of the IFL. Moreover, there are documented cases of illegal logging in the Retezat National Park. See category 1, 1.9. The logging in the strict forest reserve were justified to some extent by the outbreaks of bark beetles, but a control of the Ministry of Environment showed a much higher intensity of intervention than necessary. Due to these issues (roads and illegal logging), the Intact Forest Landscape in Retezat is considered degraded and currently do not
fulfil the Romanian HCV definition of being an IFL.

As the IFL from Retezat Mountains is considered degraded, the chance of other forest areas to pass the threshold of HCV2 according to the Romanian HCVF Toolkit is low. Such cases of HCV2 would have the higher chances to be found in areas covered by national or natural parks. The risk of conversion from natural forest to other species composition is low, since any regeneration of forests is mandatory to follow the forest site type and the corresponding natural forest type (Technical regulation 1/2000). The risk of fragmentation due to road infrastructure is not significant since any infrastructure building in the national and natural parks is subject to extensive expert and public consultation.

No IFLs nor HCV2 exist in Romania according to the HCVF Toolkit to date.