9th Training Session in Giurgiu County / Romania from 30th - 31st of July, 2012
The 9th training session was organized by Giurgiu County Council and WWF Romania
WWF-Romania and Giurgiu County Council have organised a seminar on the EU funds for nature conservation and sustainable development
WWF-Romania in collaboration with Giurgiu County Council (SURF project partner) have run a workshop on the subject of “European funds and their accessibility for nature conservation and a sustainable development of communities in the Giurgiu County”, between July the 30th and 31st.
The workshop is part of the SURF Nature project (Sustainable Use of Regional Funds for Nature), financed through the INTERREG IVC Programme and took place in Giurgiu, with the participation of local stakeholders.
On the first day of the seminar, the agenda included the presentations of SURF Nature project results and of financing opportunities through European funds for nature conservation projects. The largest part of the time was allocated for a group work session, which was followed by the presentation of results in plenary, for debate and exchange of ideas. During the work session, a SWOT analysis was done, shedding light on the current situation in the county regarding the funding of environmental projects.
The main points which were put forward were:
- the problems faced so far in the management of some protected areas (such as the Comana Natural Park) or in the implementation of projects which have nature conservation/protection as an important component,
- the dire needs of the local stakeholders (such as legislative amendments, an openness and willingness from the local authorities towards a better collaboration and communication),
- the strengths of the area which stem from finalised environmental projects,
- various opportunities (ideas of feasible or necessary projects for a sustainable development of the area) and threats which could hinder the process of applying for funding or the implementation of various initiatives.
Among the ideas of potential projects were identified the possibility of shaping the shore of the Danube, in Giurgiu, into a beach and walking promenade, creating green/forest belts along the county roads, listing and extending the green areas in Giurgiu or promoting the usage of bicycles by developing an adequate infrastructure.
The final part of the seminar was used to identify and analyse the natural and cultural potential of the Giurgiu County, as a starting point for an integrated strategy to help the development of ecotourism in the area.
On the second day of the seminar, the agenda comprised presentations about the funding opportunities for Giurgiu through European funds and, through alternative funding sources (e.g. payments for ecosystem services) and several examples of best practices: the ecological reconstruction of the Comana wetland, projects financed through ERDF in Bulgaria – in the Rousenski Lom region, the implementation of payment for ecosystem services schemes in Bulgaria and Romania.
Raluca Dan, Public Policies and Green Infrastructure expert of WWF-Romania, has said: “As workshops present an opportunity for active participation in debates involving various local actors and representatives from public authorities, these should offer a chance to promote positive examples, cases of best practices which could be applied in other regions too, instead of focusing on shortcomings or problems at local level. This kind of approach would help develop new project ideas or initiatives that local communities and nature alike could benefit from.”
This seminar is part of a series of training or informative sessions planned throughout the implementation phase of the SURF Nature project (2010-2012), with the aim of furthering the knowledge and the capacity of institutions and organisations from partnering countries to identify funding opportunities for sustainable development and nature conservation and to apply for them.
The general goal of the SURF Nature project is to optimise the regional policies and practices, to turn them into more efficient instruments for nature and biodiversity conservation, by increasing the funding opportunities through the ERDF and by boosting the impact of these measures.
Please find the presentations here: