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PRESS RELEASE Regarding the specialized Conference for the project “Restoration of wetlands and peatlands in the Center Region” (RePeat)

The Research and Development Institute for Hunting and Mountain Resources Miercurea-Ciuc (ICDCRM) organized the specialized Conference for the project  “Restoration of wetlands and peatlands in the Center Region” (RePeat) between 17 – 19 October 2023 in Miercurea Ciuc, followed by field visits to the Harghita and Covasna wetlands.

The Project is implemented through the “Environment, Climate Change Adaptation and Ecosystems” Programme (RO-Environment). The Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests is the Programme Operator and funding is provided through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA) 2014-2021. The project has a value of 4.218,620 lei and the implementation period is 28 months.

The main objective of the project is the identification and assessment of areas that require ecological restoration/reconstruction interventions.

During the project’s specialized conference, held on October 17, 2023, several topics were addressed, among which the presentation of the project’s activities, such as:

  • Intervention works in order to stop the loss of biodiversity of peatland ecosystems in the Center area;
  • Restoration of their water system;
  • Continuous monitoring of ecological restoration works;
  • Identification and assessment of areas and sub-areas that require ecological restoration/reconstruction interventions.

“This project is one of the 5 projects launched in the field of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, contracted through the RO-Environment Programme, worth over 23 million euros. In order to stop the degradation of ecosystems, peatland restoration actions are necessary. These actions will contribute to the achievement of the objective of the RO-Environment Programme by improving the state of the environment in ecosystems and by reducing the adverse effects of pollution and other anthropogenic activities”, emphasized Mr. Dan Ștefan CHIRU, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests.

“We have at least one area similar to the one researched and analyzed by the project team in the municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc that we aim to introduce into an educational and recreational circuit in the coming years. A peat bog, a marsh area that should be rehabilitated, is located in the heart of the city and we are looking for not only funds but also resources to acquire the land and then develop projects. It is not an easy endeavor. I believe that these soft policy projects that we see even today are somewhere further behind Romania’s priority ones and those regarding the development of communities, but the impact of these projects is enormous and I believe that the state can help these projects not only by the effective financing of their development, because maybe the local communities already have enough financial sources, but through financial aid for the purchase of lands that are privately owned and that, once they are reintroduced into the public circuit, will automatically generate viable projects and true necessary rehabilitations”, stated Mr. Korodi Attila, the mayor of Miercurea-Ciuc.

The specialists present at the conference in Miercurea-Ciuc visited several peatlands in Harghita and Covasna counties between October 18-19, 2023. In total, 12 peatlands and wetlands in the Central Region are being rehabilitated within the project.

The works that were effectively done on site were damming works or works to correct torrents, ravines, ditches. This means that some mini-dams were created in order to stop the flow of water from the peatland, respectively we proceeded to remove invasive vegetation from the peatland, to monitoring the site and, last but not least, to the recolonization of certain types of plants specific to peatlands. These plants were brought from unaffected areas, areas located outside the peatlands, areas outside the natural protected areas, and they were recolonized in the peatlands, and respectively their evolution was tracked”, said the director of ICDCRM, Mr. Szep Robert. He stated that several rehabilitation activities were carried out in several areas in Covasna and Harghita counties, including the Mohoș Reserve and in the Luci Peatland, which covers a significant area.

The expected results of the project are the following:

  • restoring the characteristic flora of peatlands
  • optimizing the hydrological levels of the peatlands
  • achieving rational and sustainable tourism
  • eliminating/reducing invasive species
  • îmbunătășirea calității apei din turbării
  • instalarea unui sistem de monitorizare/evaluare a parametrilor hidrogeologici

Among the participants in attendance at the specialized Conference for the project  “Restoration of wetlands and peatlands in the Center Region” were Mr. Dan Ștefan CHIRU, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, Mr. Korodi Attila, mayor of Miercurea-Ciuc Municipality, Mr. Robert Szep, director of the Research and Development Institute for Hunting and Mountain Resources (ICDCRM) – Miercurea Ciuc, members of the RO-Environment Programme Implementation Unit, from the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, Mr. Ioan JELEV, vice-president of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences “Gheorghe Ionescu Şișești”, representatives of ANANP, INCDS “Marin Drăcea”, INCDPM, together with the partners and members of the implementation team of the Project Promoter.

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