Strengthening Romania's Protected Area System by Demonstrating Best Practices for Management of Small Protected Areas in Macin Mountains National Park

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2007-2009, Romania
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
10/2009
Completion Date:
02/2010
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
15,000

Share

Title Strengthening Romania's Protected Area System by Demonstrating Best Practices for Management of Small Protected Areas in Macin Mountains National Park
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2007-2009, Romania
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 02/2010
Planned End Date: 10/2009
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Crisis Prevention & Recovery
  • 2. Environment & Sustainable Development
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. National and local governments and communities have the capacities to adapt to climate change and make inclusive and sustainable environment & energy decisions benefitting in particular under-served populations
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Team Leader
Jean-Joseph Bellamy and Lucian Georgescu Team Leader
Josh Brann Team Leader
UNDP Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: Yes
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area:
Project Type:
GEF Phase: GEF-null
PIMS Number:
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: ROMANIA
Comments: GEF standard procedure; evaluation to be included in the 2008 AWP.
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 1. It is recommended to undertake a review of international practices for managing similar protected areas as additional potential best practices for managing the park and its surrounding areas and monitoring its biodiversity. Few examples could be the Niagara Escarpment (Ontario, Canada), the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve in Latvia ? particularly for their own experience with their ecological landscape planning process and their Eco-watch programme to monitor the biodiversity in the reserve based on local volunteers with the support of thematic experts. A review of international practices would enrich the landscape conservation plan and the management plan for MMNP, which are currently under development.
2 2. It is recommended to finalize as soon as possible the main initiatives under outcome 1 & 2 and kick-start activities under outcome 3. The project is already in its second half and it is necessary to undertake the portfolio of activities under outcome 3 as soon as possible. Despite that these outcomes should sequentially be implemented; it is possible that activities under outcome 3 overlap with the finalization of some initiatives under outcome 1 & 2. In addition to the development of a list of emerging best practices generated by the project (Activity 1 of WP2008), it is recommended to: a. Organize a national workshop in collaboration with NFA and the Maramures Project to review these emerging best practices and identify the needs for the network of protected areas in Romania. The objective would be to identify the national needs in term of best practices, validate the emerging best practices in both UNDP/GEF projects and identify a plan of action to ?package? these best practices: format (case study, fact sheet, study tours, web sites, etc?), resources, responsibilities and schedule. The timing of this workshop should also be done after the review of international practices to be able to also use this input into the workshop.
3 3. It is recommended that the MMNP Administration review the participation of local stakeholders in the management of the park. The need for a greater participation of local stakeholders in the management of the park as reviewed during this MTE (see Section 4.3.7) was confirmed by the recent survey on ?conservation attitudes in the communities neighbouring the MMNP?. It was also emphasized in the October 2007 report of the Consultant Phillip Desmet as a key element determining the long-term success of the park. Dr. Desmet recommended that ?a framework for stakeholder involvement in the management and development/ utilisation of the park? be integrated into the management plan; including an initial list of elements for a greater stakeholder involvement.
4 4. In parallel to the previous recommendation, it is recommended to explore the possibilities to monitor the surrounding areas through community/municipality committees or other forms of local associations (NGOs?) with the participation of the MMNP Administration. It will develop a greater participation of stakeholders in monitoring and preserving the surrounding areas and a greater local ownership to conserve these areas.
5 5. Support the production of a compendium (profile) on MMNP and the surrounding communities to expand people?s access to information on the area. Currently, information on the region exists but it is scattered throughout agencies and ministries and not easily accessible. For instance, MMNP has now an inventory of most flora and fauna existing in the park, the recent survey on conservation attitudes is also with the park, the legislation on national patrimony contains a list of all cultural monuments in the region, etc. This compendium should be for the most part a compilation of existing data covering, for instance, the governance aspects, history and culture, social environment, services and infrastructure, economic conditions, a summary description of the natural environment and the human impacts on the environment (agriculture, forestry, tourism, waste water management, etc.). This compendium could become the environment and socio-economic baseline for the Macin area and be used to identify the long term management strategies for the park but also for the local communities such as the development of local sustainable development plans. It could also be packaged as a book on Macin and be sold as a reference book on the area.
6 6. The information produced by the project should be made more accessible to the public; particularly through the MMNP web site. The park newsletter should be disseminated largely in the local communities.
7 7. On the basis of the training needs assessment, recommendations for the development of a training programme were made with two levels of priorities: (1) essential for meeting major current capacity gaps and (2) important for the successful completion of the project objectives. It is recommended to go ahead with the first level of priorities that includes basic training for rangers and field workers, communication skills and working with communities. However, it is also recommended to develop this training programme in close collaboration with NFA and explore the possibility to develop this training programme in partnership with an existing training institution such as a training organization that is developing/delivering training courses to the public service or an academic institution specialised in environment and/or forestry. The concept would be to develop jointly this training, deliver it to the MMNP staff but also opening this training to all staff involved in managing protected areas in Romania; including NFA staff but also staff from MESD. Instead of being a one time delivered course ? which is costly ? the programme could be used for the years to come to transfer know-how on PA management and raise the capacity of staff involved in PAs.
8 8. In addition to the training recommendation above, it is recommended to support capacity development activities to strengthen the management of the MMNP Administration; using the proposed institutional and project management skills training module identified through the training needs analysis. It should include topics such as management systems, management information system, GIS, human resource management system and project life cycle.
9 9. As discussed in Section 4.1.2, the identification of the national network of Natura 2000 sites was conducted without much public consultation. As a result, there is a limited ?buy-in? from the local communities such as those in the Tulcea County. However, the N2000 Macin site exists and in addition to the MMNP area (11,000ha), it covers another 7,000ha of land in the surrounding areas to the park; mostly private land. Under the current jurisdiction, the MMNP Administration is becoming the custodian of the N2000 site. It is recommended that the project support the integration of the two concepts (N2000 and MMNP); particularly in the management plan that is under development. The MMNP Administration needs also to be more proactive on this issue and support some awareness campaign to increase the communities? knowledge about the N2000 network and its obligations and opportunities.
10 10. The communities in the Macin area are dynamic. Local leaders and local government agency staff are promoting the development of plans, programmes and projects. They also expect the support of the MMNP Administration to help them identifying funding sources and developing project proposals. It is recommended that the project continue to support these community needs. Opportunities exist, particularly with the EU structural funds. The main one is the rural development strategy and action plan that will be funded by the GOR and the EU. Also under the Natura 2000 programme funds are available under the SOP Environment to help local landowners to preserve sensitive habitats.
11 11 Regarding the study of the value of the environmental services, it is recommended to fast track its last phase. According to the 2008 work plan, the target date for the completion of the study is October 2008. It is late if we consider the implementation of any proposed recommendations within the project?s lifetime. It is recommended to discuss with the consultant and explore the possibility to launch some proposed initiatives in parallel to the completion of the study. Also a target date of mid-summer 2008 for the completion of the study would be recommended if possible.
12 12. It is recommended to monitor the possible institutional reorganization for the management of the protected areas in Romania. According to MESD, this change may occur this year (2008) with the set-up of this new national agency and a staff of 300 people. Continuity of the MMNP Administration should be ensured but, as with all institutional reorganizations, changes should be expected. The project team in collaboration with UNDP-CO need to maintain a dialogue with MESD; including their involvement in the POC.
13 13. As described in Section 4.3.8, it is recommended to review the performance indicators of the project and to add one indicator to measure the progress of the relationship between the MMNP Administration and the local communities such as ?Local communities understand better why to protect the Macin Mountain National Park and are active in its management?.
14 14. The project is using the METT scorecard to track the management effectiveness of the MMNP Administration. As discussed in Section 4.3.8, the current score is 56 that is higher that the target set for the end of the project (50). It is recommended to review and set new targets for each indicator for the end of the project (Dec. 2009); particularly for the areas where the project is supporting capacity development initiatives such as the strengthening of the Administration and the relation with the local communities.
15 15. It is recommended that the project team in collaboration with UNDP-CO and NFA explore the possibility to access the environment SOP funds to strengthen the network of PAs and build on the achievements of the MMNP project. As discussed in Section 4.1.5, the environment SOP was approved by the EU in July 2007 with an indicative budget of 4.5B euros from the EU and 1B euros from GOR for the period 2007-2013. The priority axis #4 is about nature protection with a budget of 215M euros to implement adequate management framework for PAs; including N2000 sites.
16 16. It is recommended that a case study be done on the UNDP/GEF experience in Romania; including the identification of lessons learned. One strong characteristic of this experience is the excellent partnership between the international implementation agency/donor (UNDP/GEF) and the national implementing agency (NFA). The partnership is the basis for truly joint projects, whereby, both partners are investing resources. The results seem to be: (1) a good response to address national priorities; (2) an integrated approach for project implementation leading to good stakeholder participation and ownership; (3) a great potential for replicating project achievements; (4) an easier project exit with minimal disruption of the work of local partners; and (5) a better long-term sustainability of the project achievements, due to an early institutionalization of these results into the local structures, procedures, skills and knowledge.
17 The Park administration should develop, and implement, an outreach strategy that supports direct face-to-face interaction between the park?s community outreach officer and members of the communities surrounding MMNP. There are currently multiple mechanisms that contribute to positive stakeholder involvement in MMNP management issues, but the initial stakeholder survey showed there is still much room for increased awareness and education within local communities. This could be achieved through a regular MMNP staff presence within the communities, which is exactly the role of the community outreach officer. [For MMNP Administration]
18 In conjunction with the above recommendation about public outreach, MMNP should ensure another stakeholder survey is carried out in the next two years. Such a survey, implemented regularly, can be considered the park?s socio-economic monitoring to go with the environmental monitoring program. Monitoring socio-economic trends is critical and can over time, with appropriate data collection methods and analysis, help to identify MMNP?s economic value to the region, and inform effective management. [For MMNP Administration]
19 : Throughout the new EU member countries, regional branding has begun to demonstrate value, as has been seen in western European countries. With the goal of creating incentives for nature protection and realizing value in the region?s natural capital, MMNP should explore the possibility of partnering with local producer groups and tourism organizations to develop a regional trademark or ecolabel for Măcin. This could be done for both products and tourism services. Relevant examples include the regional brand developed for Poland?s Barycz Valley protected landscape (http://barycz.pl/main/), the regional brands in the Czech Republic?s Carpathian protected landscapes of Beskedy and Bilé Karpaty (http://www.tradicebk.cz and http://www.domaci-vyrobky.cz), and the ?Living Tisza? brand developed in the upper Tisza watershed in Hungary (http://www.elotiszaert.hu). [For MMNP Administration and Regional Stakeholders]
20 Ecological evidence shows that many species have significant short-term natural population fluctuations, which leaves single species indicators with little value in evaluating the effectiveness of a biodiversity conservation project with a time scale of two to four years. In addition, natural systems often take years to demonstrably respond to conservation measures. Nonetheless, impact level indicators are valuable, and indeed are ultimately the only way to measure success in conserving biodiversity. For project logframe indicators, either biodiversity monitoring data should be considered over a longer period of time (10-15 years), or data on a range of factors such as habitat assessment or population dynamics model simulation should further inform short-term assessments of species level biodiversity trends. [For UNDP and GEF]
21 Tourism is a growing industry in the area and is expected to be an important long-term economic contributor to the region. MMNP should continue supporting tourism development in the region (particularly environmentally responsible eco-tourism), but should avoid raising too great of expectations among the local communities about the scale and timeframe in which economic benefits from tourism may be seen. For the foreseeable future tourism will remain a minor component of the regional economy, employing a small percentage of the population. [For MMNP Administration]
22 With the goal of supporting a cost-effective environmental monitoring system, MMNP should explore the feasibility and utility of expanding community-based water-monitoring programs (e.g. waterkeeper programs, adopt-a-stream, etc.), as well as programs like annual community bird counts. Such programs also help increase community awareness and can be integrated with environmental education programs. [For MMNP Administration] Information on community-based water-monitoring programs can be found at: ? http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/ ? http://www.inletkeeper.org/CEMP/overview.htm ? http://www.georgiaadoptastream.org/home.html
23 The MMNP administration (through the NFA) should explore the possibility of securing intellectual property rights to the html-based biodiversity monitoring database application developed by the project. The NFA should explore the possibility of gaining revenue for protected areas in Romania by licensing the database application to other countries in the region for use by their protected area systems. [For NFA and MMNP Administration]
1. Recommendation: 1. It is recommended to undertake a review of international practices for managing similar protected areas as additional potential best practices for managing the park and its surrounding areas and monitoring its biodiversity. Few examples could be the Niagara Escarpment (Ontario, Canada), the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve in Latvia ? particularly for their own experience with their ecological landscape planning process and their Eco-watch programme to monitor the biodiversity in the reserve based on local volunteers with the support of thematic experts. A review of international practices would enrich the landscape conservation plan and the management plan for MMNP, which are currently under development.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Links established between Macin and other PAs from Austria, Slovenia and Norway. Exchange of best practices and potential visit of the counterpartners to Macin will be organized 2008-2009.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: 2. It is recommended to finalize as soon as possible the main initiatives under outcome 1 & 2 and kick-start activities under outcome 3. The project is already in its second half and it is necessary to undertake the portfolio of activities under outcome 3 as soon as possible. Despite that these outcomes should sequentially be implemented; it is possible that activities under outcome 3 overlap with the finalization of some initiatives under outcome 1 & 2. In addition to the development of a list of emerging best practices generated by the project (Activity 1 of WP2008), it is recommended to: a. Organize a national workshop in collaboration with NFA and the Maramures Project to review these emerging best practices and identify the needs for the network of protected areas in Romania. The objective would be to identify the national needs in term of best practices, validate the emerging best practices in both UNDP/GEF projects and identify a plan of action to ?package? these best practices: format (case study, fact sheet, study tours, web sites, etc?), resources, responsibilities and schedule. The timing of this workshop should also be done after the review of international practices to be able to also use this input into the workshop.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. A series of workshops with the aim of replicating best practices will be held on: ecological agriculture and other best practices identified. AWP activities 3.4.1' 3.4.2.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: 3. It is recommended that the MMNP Administration review the participation of local stakeholders in the management of the park. The need for a greater participation of local stakeholders in the management of the park as reviewed during this MTE (see Section 4.3.7) was confirmed by the recent survey on ?conservation attitudes in the communities neighbouring the MMNP?. It was also emphasized in the October 2007 report of the Consultant Phillip Desmet as a key element determining the long-term success of the park. Dr. Desmet recommended that ?a framework for stakeholder involvement in the management and development/ utilisation of the park? be integrated into the management plan; including an initial list of elements for a greater stakeholder involvement.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Local communities are already very much represented in the Scientific and Consultative Councils of the park and informed on the Parks management decisions. The Consultative Council of the Park will be credited with a larger role in the decision making process. Public participation ?will be embedded in the Management Plan.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: 4. In parallel to the previous recommendation, it is recommended to explore the possibilities to monitor the surrounding areas through community/municipality committees or other forms of local associations (NGOs?) with the participation of the MMNP Administration. It will develop a greater participation of stakeholders in monitoring and preserving the surrounding areas and a greater local ownership to conserve these areas.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: 5. Support the production of a compendium (profile) on MMNP and the surrounding communities to expand people?s access to information on the area. Currently, information on the region exists but it is scattered throughout agencies and ministries and not easily accessible. For instance, MMNP has now an inventory of most flora and fauna existing in the park, the recent survey on conservation attitudes is also with the park, the legislation on national patrimony contains a list of all cultural monuments in the region, etc. This compendium should be for the most part a compilation of existing data covering, for instance, the governance aspects, history and culture, social environment, services and infrastructure, economic conditions, a summary description of the natural environment and the human impacts on the environment (agriculture, forestry, tourism, waste water management, etc.). This compendium could become the environment and socio-economic baseline for the Macin area and be used to identify the long term management strategies for the park but also for the local communities such as the development of local sustainable development plans. It could also be packaged as a book on Macin and be sold as a reference book on the area.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. The project will develop a public awareness strategy and other relevant education materials. Activity 2.2.5; 2.5.4; 1.5.3; 1.5.4.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: 6. The information produced by the project should be made more accessible to the public; particularly through the MMNP web site. The park newsletter should be disseminated largely in the local communities.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. Activity 1.5.5; 1.5.6

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation: 7. On the basis of the training needs assessment, recommendations for the development of a training programme were made with two levels of priorities: (1) essential for meeting major current capacity gaps and (2) important for the successful completion of the project objectives. It is recommended to go ahead with the first level of priorities that includes basic training for rangers and field workers, communication skills and working with communities. However, it is also recommended to develop this training programme in close collaboration with NFA and explore the possibility to develop this training programme in partnership with an existing training institution such as a training organization that is developing/delivering training courses to the public service or an academic institution specialised in environment and/or forestry. The concept would be to develop jointly this training, deliver it to the MMNP staff but also opening this training to all staff involved in managing protected areas in Romania; including NFA staff but also staff from MESD. Instead of being a one time delivered course ? which is costly ? the programme could be used for the years to come to transfer know-how on PA management and raise the capacity of staff involved in PAs.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

TNA done and training modules will be developed accordingly. Trainings planned and included in AWP 2008: Activity 2.2

Key Actions:

8. Recommendation: 8. In addition to the training recommendation above, it is recommended to support capacity development activities to strengthen the management of the MMNP Administration; using the proposed institutional and project management skills training module identified through the training needs analysis. It should include topics such as management systems, management information system, GIS, human resource management system and project life cycle.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Activity 2.2; additional training opportunities will be identified through NFA

Key Actions:

9. Recommendation: 9. As discussed in Section 4.1.2, the identification of the national network of Natura 2000 sites was conducted without much public consultation. As a result, there is a limited ?buy-in? from the local communities such as those in the Tulcea County. However, the N2000 Macin site exists and in addition to the MMNP area (11,000ha), it covers another 7,000ha of land in the surrounding areas to the park; mostly private land. Under the current jurisdiction, the MMNP Administration is becoming the custodian of the N2000 site. It is recommended that the project support the integration of the two concepts (N2000 and MMNP); particularly in the management plan that is under development. The MMNP Administration needs also to be more proactive on this issue and support some awareness campaign to increase the communities? knowledge about the N2000 network and its obligations and opportunities.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. Will be addressed through the Park?s awareness strategy and other awareness raising and information dissemination activities.

Key Actions:

10. Recommendation: 10. The communities in the Macin area are dynamic. Local leaders and local government agency staff are promoting the development of plans, programmes and projects. They also expect the support of the MMNP Administration to help them identifying funding sources and developing project proposals. It is recommended that the project continue to support these community needs. Opportunities exist, particularly with the EU structural funds. The main one is the rural development strategy and action plan that will be funded by the GOR and the EU. Also under the Natura 2000 programme funds are available under the SOP Environment to help local landowners to preserve sensitive habitats.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

MMNP Administration will support local authorities in project development or with expertise for the development of studies for a better management of the habitats especially priority habitats at the park?s border.

Key Actions:

11. Recommendation: 11 Regarding the study of the value of the environmental services, it is recommended to fast track its last phase. According to the 2008 work plan, the target date for the completion of the study is October 2008. It is late if we consider the implementation of any proposed recommendations within the project?s lifetime. It is recommended to discuss with the consultant and explore the possibility to launch some proposed initiatives in parallel to the completion of the study. Also a target date of mid-summer 2008 for the completion of the study would be recommended if possible.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

The study will be fast tracked and results disseminated and shared with other PAs. Investigation regarding the actual implementation of its recommendations will be explored. Activity 2.4.5

Key Actions:

12. Recommendation: 12. It is recommended to monitor the possible institutional reorganization for the management of the protected areas in Romania. According to MESD, this change may occur this year (2008) with the set-up of this new national agency and a staff of 300 people. Continuity of the MMNP Administration should be ensured but, as with all institutional reorganizations, changes should be expected. The project team in collaboration with UNDP-CO need to maintain a dialogue with MESD; including their involvement in the POC.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted.

Key Actions:

13. Recommendation: 13. As described in Section 4.3.8, it is recommended to review the performance indicators of the project and to add one indicator to measure the progress of the relationship between the MMNP Administration and the local communities such as ?Local communities understand better why to protect the Macin Mountain National Park and are active in its management?.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. However, local communities are already very well informed through many joint activities organized by the Park.

Key Actions:

14. Recommendation: 14. The project is using the METT scorecard to track the management effectiveness of the MMNP Administration. As discussed in Section 4.3.8, the current score is 56 that is higher that the target set for the end of the project (50). It is recommended to review and set new targets for each indicator for the end of the project (Dec. 2009); particularly for the areas where the project is supporting capacity development initiatives such as the strengthening of the Administration and the relation with the local communities.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted.

Key Actions:

15. Recommendation: 15. It is recommended that the project team in collaboration with UNDP-CO and NFA explore the possibility to access the environment SOP funds to strengthen the network of PAs and build on the achievements of the MMNP project. As discussed in Section 4.1.5, the environment SOP was approved by the EU in July 2007 with an indicative budget of 4.5B euros from the EU and 1B euros from GOR for the period 2007-2013. The priority axis #4 is about nature protection with a budget of 215M euros to implement adequate management framework for PAs; including N2000 sites.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. Local Park administrations are not allowed to access EU funds according to the current guidelines, as they don?t have legal status. They can access funds through NFA. Should this situation be revised, MMNP Administration will actively pursue project development to be submitted for EU funds.

Key Actions:

16. Recommendation: 16. It is recommended that a case study be done on the UNDP/GEF experience in Romania; including the identification of lessons learned. One strong characteristic of this experience is the excellent partnership between the international implementation agency/donor (UNDP/GEF) and the national implementing agency (NFA). The partnership is the basis for truly joint projects, whereby, both partners are investing resources. The results seem to be: (1) a good response to address national priorities; (2) an integrated approach for project implementation leading to good stakeholder participation and ownership; (3) a great potential for replicating project achievements; (4) an easier project exit with minimal disruption of the work of local partners; and (5) a better long-term sustainability of the project achievements, due to an early institutionalization of these results into the local structures, procedures, skills and knowledge.
Management Response: [Added: 2009/12/15]

Noted. A best practice/lesson learnt manual will be drafted 2008-2009

Key Actions:

17. Recommendation: The Park administration should develop, and implement, an outreach strategy that supports direct face-to-face interaction between the park?s community outreach officer and members of the communities surrounding MMNP. There are currently multiple mechanisms that contribute to positive stakeholder involvement in MMNP management issues, but the initial stakeholder survey showed there is still much room for increased awareness and education within local communities. This could be achieved through a regular MMNP staff presence within the communities, which is exactly the role of the community outreach officer. [For MMNP Administration]
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

There are distinct actions within the Management Plan of the Macin Mountains National Park, which are transposed in the Annual Working Plan, in relation to involving the communities in the management integrated process of the protected area and the areas of conservative interest in the vicinity. The person in charge with the ecologic education has the mission to apply the actions of awareness rising with the direct participation in field or with the help of the biologist of the park or of the rangers. The information Cetatuia established through the project will facilitate the promotion actions. At the same time with the engineering of the visiting centre from Greci, the person in charge with awareness rising will work in field, among communities, the feed- back- will be a permanent one, the interactive activities at shorter terms and positive result will increase in number and intensity.

Key Actions:

18. Recommendation: In conjunction with the above recommendation about public outreach, MMNP should ensure another stakeholder survey is carried out in the next two years. Such a survey, implemented regularly, can be considered the park?s socio-economic monitoring to go with the environmental monitoring program. Monitoring socio-economic trends is critical and can over time, with appropriate data collection methods and analysis, help to identify MMNP?s economic value to the region, and inform effective management. [For MMNP Administration]
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

Monitoring the social- economical evolution of the communities existence is an activity that started with the support of the project in 2007 , continued in 2009 and it will continue every 2 years in order to get a feed-back on the importance of activities of park administration to create alternatives of economical growth which can compensate some restrictions imposed by rate of economical activities around a protected area from the category II IUCN, the interest of PNMM being the one of continuing obtaining assents of the land owners in the vicinity of the park to use friendly methods in the activities of capitalizing natural resources ( traditional and ecological); the administration continuously sustains it to obtain compensations for the restrictive measures for the use of lands private property.

Key Actions:

19. Recommendation: : Throughout the new EU member countries, regional branding has begun to demonstrate value, as has been seen in western European countries. With the goal of creating incentives for nature protection and realizing value in the region?s natural capital, MMNP should explore the possibility of partnering with local producer groups and tourism organizations to develop a regional trademark or ecolabel for Măcin. This could be done for both products and tourism services. Relevant examples include the regional brand developed for Poland?s Barycz Valley protected landscape (http://barycz.pl/main/), the regional brands in the Czech Republic?s Carpathian protected landscapes of Beskedy and Bilé Karpaty (http://www.tradicebk.cz and http://www.domaci-vyrobky.cz), and the ?Living Tisza? brand developed in the upper Tisza watershed in Hungary (http://www.elotiszaert.hu). [For MMNP Administration and Regional Stakeholders]
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

By the help of GEF/UNDP project the members of the park team, representatives of local administrations and agricultural producers in the vicinity of the national park starting with the fall of 2006 we took knowledge of the importance of,, plus value?? by ecological labeling of the products or promoting a local brand on the occasion of experience exchange sustained through the project in Slovenia, Austria and Sibiu ? Romania. We consider that, with the help of local agricultural workers and tourism operators with who we have partnerships we will manage to obtain the first agricultural cultures ecologically certificated and within 3 years we will homologate a local brand ,, HERCINIC?? under the umbrella of which the products will be labeled and touristic services inside and in the vicinity of the Macin Mountains National Park.

Key Actions:

20. Recommendation: Ecological evidence shows that many species have significant short-term natural population fluctuations, which leaves single species indicators with little value in evaluating the effectiveness of a biodiversity conservation project with a time scale of two to four years. In addition, natural systems often take years to demonstrably respond to conservation measures. Nonetheless, impact level indicators are valuable, and indeed are ultimately the only way to measure success in conserving biodiversity. For project logframe indicators, either biodiversity monitoring data should be considered over a longer period of time (10-15 years), or data on a range of factors such as habitat assessment or population dynamics model simulation should further inform short-term assessments of species level biodiversity trends. [For UNDP and GEF]
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

The conservations status of biodiversity in the national park will be monitored by maintaining the 62 permanent sample surfaces of monitoring established through the project for the bio indicator species. The species of the bio indicator species will be used through the project as they have an ecological sensitivity different from the internal and external command factors and monitoring the status of the species selected can offer the conservation status of biodiversity on the long, medium and long term, as the information refer to the dynamics of all types of habitat ( groups ) at the level of the park and its vicinity . At the 7 bio indicator species used up to the present another 3 will be added, important as barometer for the habitats which have continuity in the perimeter of the park, in its vicity.

Key Actions:

21. Recommendation: Tourism is a growing industry in the area and is expected to be an important long-term economic contributor to the region. MMNP should continue supporting tourism development in the region (particularly environmentally responsible eco-tourism), but should avoid raising too great of expectations among the local communities about the scale and timeframe in which economic benefits from tourism may be seen. For the foreseeable future tourism will remain a minor component of the regional economy, employing a small percentage of the population. [For MMNP Administration]
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

The Administration of Macin Mountains National Park National Muntii Macinului have real hopes that tourism will become a development alternative in the vicinity of the park, without considering that this activity will solve all social economical problems of local communities in the vicinity of the park. This will be possible with a close collaboration with local communities and local entrepreneurs in tourism industry. Tourism , according to the Visiting Strategy and the Awareness Strategy developed through the GEF/UNDP project will become an important mean of promoting biodiversity and education, in particular after the construction of a Presentation hall at Cetatuia si and a Visiting Centre at Greci until 2013. The relief forms and the touristic alternatives so various can be exploited in Macin Mountains, will lead to a responsive tourism which bring a plus value in the regional development, directly through the unique forms of bio diversity and cultural inheritance and through the ethnic cultural side. We do not expect a touristic bloom, but an alternative of development that change the perception on the importance of the protected areas at regional level.

Key Actions:

22. Recommendation: With the goal of supporting a cost-effective environmental monitoring system, MMNP should explore the feasibility and utility of expanding community-based water-monitoring programs (e.g. waterkeeper programs, adopt-a-stream, etc.), as well as programs like annual community bird counts. Such programs also help increase community awareness and can be integrated with environmental education programs. [For MMNP Administration] Information on community-based water-monitoring programs can be found at: ? http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/ ? http://www.inletkeeper.org/CEMP/overview.htm ? http://www.georgiaadoptastream.org/home.html
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

The volunteers belonging to the communities of the vicinity localities will be used to monitor the annual quantity of water used a resource form the springs within the park.

Key Actions:

23. Recommendation: The MMNP administration (through the NFA) should explore the possibility of securing intellectual property rights to the html-based biodiversity monitoring database application developed by the project. The NFA should explore the possibility of gaining revenue for protected areas in Romania by licensing the database application to other countries in the region for use by their protected area systems. [For NFA and MMNP Administration]
Management Response: [Added: 2011/04/08]

For the beginning the monitoring interactive system which will be used by Macin Mountains National Park and the protected areas at NFA level, afterwards if the interactive investigation mode functions as foreseen within all the specific segments and investigated ecosystems, it will promoted at international level, the main purpose being not the yielding but a uniform monitoring system that allow and exchange of data at Balkan, Ponto- Sarmatian, Pannonian or Pontic level (countries).

Key Actions:

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org