Project Steering Committee analyses the evolution of PES mechanisms in Romania
With regards to the Maramures financial scheme, the discussions were focused on the way the scheme works, the socio-economic characteristics of the area and the way they influence the project, the work-plan for next year in terms of awareness raising and the development of ecotourism practices and offers. The important results achieved this year were: the set up of the Conservation and Local Sustainable Development Fund where all contributions offered by guesthouses and tour-operators are collected, the adjustment of the annual contributions in order to be better correlated with the financial resources of these business actors, the set up of the Local Partnership for the Development and Marketing of the Mara-Cosau-Rooster’s Peak ecotourism destination, as well as the application for the official title of ecotourism destination submitted to the National Tourism Authority.
With regards to the Ciocanesti fish farm scheme, the discussions were focused on the socio-economic characteristics of the area and the way they influence the project, the ecosystem services maintained through responsible aquaculture practices and the main challenge faced by the farm’s manager: keeping the business profitable in the presence of a large population of cormorants and other birds which feed on the farm’s fish and use the farm’s habitat as nesting or resting ground. Around half of the fish production is consumed by more than 10,600 birds, some of these protected by the national and European legislation.
An important outcome of the meeting was the fact that the measures devised by the project team to maintain the ecosystem services provided by the fish farm were adopted by the Management Authority of the Fishing Operational Programme to reopen and ease access to funding for aqua-environmental measures. Moreover, initial steps were taken to participate in the elaboration of the 2014-2020 Operational Programme and to better integrate the PES logic into this national programme as an incentive going beyond compensations for loss of income.