Capacity and Involvement for the Protected Areas of Romania – June, 2014 – April, 2016 - Project financed by the EEA grants, through the NGO fund in Romania

The project Capacity and Involvement for the Protected Areas of Romania, June, 2014 – April, 2016, aims to increase the institutional capacity of the Federation of the Natura 2000 Coalition Romania and to enable it to act as a collective actor in the area of biodiversity protection in protected areas, as well as to strengthen the internal mobilization of its members.

Blending together activities of professionalization in advocacy and project writing, communication and public policies, the project also makes a direct contribution to the consolidation of the Rule of Law in Romania, including activities of legal watchdog in regards to the legal standards assumed by the Romanian state in regards to the Natura 2000 sites.

Advocacy and lobby regarding legal standards and management-related issues in Natura 2000 sites: the value of local expertise

An important component of the project is the identification and documentation of 10 cases of illegal activities or biodiversity-related issues occurring in protected areas included in the Natura 2000 network, by tapping into member NGOs` expertise, and the experience of a legal counsel.

In fact, the vast network that the Federation and its members benefits from will contribute to the identification of the most relevant cases to document, throughout this project. Subsequently, a complex team of experts, with local and thematic expertise, will be mobilized in the process of documentation of the pre-identified cases.

Oftentimes, these cases include construction projects, for example, of micro hydropower plants, and irregularities in regards to the environment permits and construction authorizations, and other illegal cases that affect the integrity of natural sites.

For two of the identified cases the Federation envisages taking legal actions, although ideally, a climate of dialogue with relevant authorities will be fostered, in order to find solutions. In addition, in fighting against these irregularities we are confined by standard legal procedures, like for example, legal terms for contesting the granting of official permits and authorizations. Hence, the selection of the cases will be strategic, using as criteria the real opportunity to legally follow up on the case.

From increasing the institutional capacity of the Federation, to lobbying for better public policies

Moreover, the project also includes a series of activities that directly target the institutional capacity of the Federation and its core team, like training activities in advocacy for environment-related issues, trainings in project writing and external communication, or joint-coordination activities.

All these activities involve directly the core team of the Federation, i.e. the Board of Directors and the permanent staff, the Executive Director and the Project Assistant. Due to the direct involvement of the Board of Directors in these activities, Board whose members are 7 Executive Directors of Federation`s member NGOs, and, as such, the Federation`s members will also directly benefit from the expertise to be gained by implementing this project.

One of the important common action domain, is the domain of public policies, since the project also aims at continuing the member NGOs tradition of taking joint action in shaping local and national public policies. Through this project, 2 strategic public policy proposals will be documented, and a dialogue with the relevant public authorities will be open.

Purpose, Specific Objectives & Activities

More specifically, the purpose of the project is to develop and support the Federation`s institutional capacity in enabling it to monitor and to effectively involve in solving issues related to illegal activities that affect the integrity and conservation status of species and habitats stowed in protected areas, at national level.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  1. Consolidate the internal capacity of the Federation by implementing relevant monitoring/watchdog initiatives targeting public authorities, and by rolling out local and national advocacy campaigns.
  2. Augment the active involvement of the Federation in diminishing the impact inflicted on natural protected areas by projects and investments that are not responsibly planned and implemented, by documenting at least 5 cases of illegal activities and by undertaking legal measures in at least 5 biodiversity-related issues, by the end of the project.
  3. Efficiently implement this project by coordinating the involvement of all the member NGOs, by making sound use of the project`s human and financial resources, and by overseeing a timely implementation of activities.

These objectives are set to be attained by implementing the following activities:

  • 1.1. Creation of the internal management and governing rules and procedures of the Federation Natura 2000 Romania by organizing the yearly General Assemblies of its member NGOs.
  • 1.2. Creation of the official website of the Federation, with specific sections for external and internal communication.
  • 1.3. Drafting and implementing strategic action plans for the Federation, by organizing the work group meeting of the Board of Directors.
  • 1.4. Increasing the management capacity of the Federation`s team, i.e. the Board of Directors and permanent staff, by participating in an advocacy training.
  • 1.5. Elaborating an advocacy strategy that will ensure an active contribution to improving the state of conservation of species and habitats stowed in protected areas in Romania.
  • 1.6. Increasing the management capacity of the Federation`s team, i.e. the Board of Directors and permanent staff, by participating in project writing and external communication trainings.
  • 1.7. Developing the fundraising capacity and financial sustainability of the Federation, by drafting and applying for funding for 3 different project proposals.
  • 2.1. Analyzing and documenting, on the field, 10 cases of illegal activities/ issues occurring in protected areas in Romania.
  • 2.2. Putting together 2 study cases for evaluating the opportunity for taking legal actions in regards to 2 identified cases of illegal issues occurring in protected areas in Romania.
  • 2.3. Presenting publically the documented cases and the identified solutions.
  • 2.4. Formulating position papers and common public policy proposals based on previous research and data gathered, regarding two issues of interest for protected areas in Romania, and presenting these to the relevant public authorities.
  • 3.1. Coordinating the project`s activities, by active involvement of the Federation`s member NGOs and beneficiaries.
  • 3.2. Implementing and monitoring the project.
  • 3.3. Promoting the project.

Project funding: the NGO Fund in Romania

The project is financed by the EEA grants 2009-2014, through the NGO Fund in Romania, having a total budget of 170 550 Euro, while the grant amounts to 135 170 Euro.

The main objective of the NGO Fund in Romania is to “[c]onsolidate the development of the civil society and to raise its contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development”, in order to reduce the economic and social disparities present in the European Economic Space, al the while strenghtening the bilateral relationships between Romania and the donor countries - Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

The NGO Fund in Romania is being administered by the Foundation for the Development of the Civil Society (FDSC), in collaboration with the Foundation for Partnership and the Center for Resources for Roma Communities.

For official information on the EEA and Norway grants, please visit .

For official information on the NGO Fund in Romania, please visit

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