The expansion of the Natura 2000 network has rapidly occurred in Romania, and the lack of infrastructure, funding, and personnel qualified to manage these resources, undermined the overall efficacy of the newly created protected areas. Our goal is to improve the management of Natura 2000 protected areas by integrating social network analysis into systematic conservation planning.
Conflicts are ubiquitous in natural resource management and result from pursuing competing endeavors of environmental protection, economic development and social equity. The aim of the project is to develop a methodology for the management and resolution of environmental conflicts occurring within Natura 2000 sites.
The debate around large carnivore management is often contentious, and the case of Romanian carnivores is no different. Romania harbors a large portion of the European large carnivore populations (brown bear, gray wolf and Eurasian lynx), and hunting is the primary form of management. Our goal is to evaluate the scientific basis of large carnivore management in Romania, and produce guidelines for improving management practices.
We contributed to the establishment of Iron Gates Natural Park, we coordinated the park administration during first years, we are working to safeguard endangered Hermann's tortoise, and several iconic birds such as pygmy cormorant and ferruginous duck. We own a research base at Eselnita. In a nutshell, Iron Gates is the main study area for our center.