United Nations Development Programme
Project data

Project ID: 72323

Status: completed (fc)

Duration: Jan 2010 - Jun 2014

Management Arrangements: NEX


Total: 5 667 041 USD


Energy and Environment

Geographic Focus

Carpathians protected areas

Sector and Subsector

Biodiversity; Financial sustainability enforcement in Carpathian mountains.

Expected CP Outcome(s)

Environmental governance strengthened at central and local levels and greater compliance with EU environmental standards and international conventions

Improving the Financial Sustainability of the Carpathian System of Protected Areas

Project Objectives

The objective is to secure the financial sustainability of Romania’s Carpathian Network of Protected Areas (CNPA) as a model for replication to the entire Carpathian Network of Protected Areas. With adequate financial resources the Romanian Carpathian Pas and the CNPAs will be on path to greater financial sustainability. This objective will be realized through:

(i)        Strengthening the supportive legislative framework and Sustainable Protected Areas Financing Strategy;
(ii)        Strengthening the institutional and individual capacities of management authorities and other local stakeholders to develop and implement sustainable financing of protected areas.

Project Background

The Carpathian Mountains host  Europe's most extensive tracts of montane forest, the largest remaining natural  mountain beech and beech/fir forest ecosystems, and the largest area of virgin  forest left in Europe. They extend over an area of 210,000 km2 in  Central and Eastern Europe covering seven countries: CzechRepublic, Hungary,  Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine, and are the last region in  Europe to support viable populations of large carnivores. However, due to  overexploitation of natural resources and habitat degradation and  fragmentation, the globally significant biodiversity of the Carpathian  mountains is threatened. Recognizing the biological and economic importance of  the Carpathians, all the seven range states have taken measures to protect this  ecoregion, through the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas (CNPA) that  includes 285 protected areas over 31,978 km2.

The current network of PAs in the Carpathian  Mountains is considered insufficient in scale, connectivity and management  performance to prevent the irreversible loss of biodiversity in the Carpathian  ecoregion over the next decades. A number of GEF and non-GEF initiatives and  programs have been launched at the regional and national level to strengthen  the CNPA. These efforts are primarily targeted to addressing bio-geographical  shortcomings and some of the individual and institutional capacity barriers  related to realizing the long-term goal. There remains an unmet need to address  the financial barrier and the associated capacities. The long-term solution to  the financial problems confronting protected areas in the Romanian Carpathians  lies in ensuring a steady stream of funding from diverse sources and  effectively increasing the overall resource envelope. This must be coupled with  reducing inefficiencies in current spending.

Expected Output & Planned Activities

The project is expected to  generate significant new revenues to the CNPAs. Taken together, this project’s  investment (1 million USD) is projected to generate additional revenue of USD 5  million per year and using a 6 percent discount rate, in a 10 year period, the  net benefit of this investment is 35 million USD. To this end, the following  outputs will be delivered:

(i) Assessment and amendment  of the legal and regulatory framework, as well as the institutional structure  governing the Romanian CNPAs.

(ii) Formulation of a sustainable  finance strategy for 22 large Romanian CNPAs, including the CNPAs’ financial  history, investment priorities, revenue mechanisms and proposed cost-saving  strategies to address financial needs and reduce gaps.

(iii) Conducting a powerful  communications strategy, the project will encourage the government to gradually  increase funding for the targeted PAs (e.g., 20% yearly increases from 2007 vel). Political and financial support will be mobilised not only to increase  the government’s contributions to cover the costs of protected areas, but also  to support the overall implementation of the sustainable financial strategy of  the CNPAs.

(iv) Model business plans will  demonstrate specific market-based financial mechanisms, using an approach that  will maximise economic returns and minimise costs and environmental impact.

(v) Validation of a set of  PA diversified income-generation mechanisms (market and non-market options) in  at least 3 PAs which are one step ahead of the others due to their increased  capacity for conservation management.

(vi) Development of  institutional and individual capacities of management authorities and other  local stakeholders to achieve sustainable financing, which will result in a  critical number of PA professionals trained, a Carpathian National Association  of Protected Area manager established, improved information management linking  PA management plans with financial management systems, a public PA management  committee monitoring revenue and expenditures of PAs, lessons and knowledge  documented and transferred to key actors representing PAs from other Carpathian  countries.


First International Workshop 22-25 June 2011

Second International Workshop 13-15 November 2013 - presentations:

         Business Planning Process in RO-CNPA – Alin Birda

         Business Plan Implementation Vanatori Neamt Nature Park - Sebastian Catanoiu

         CNPA – Challenges and Development Objectives – Mircea Verghelet

         Compensation measures in Djerdap National Park – Serbia

         Decentralized Financing Mechanisms for Carpathian PAs – UNEP

         Financial management of National Park Directorates in Hungary

         Financial Management System – Alin Birda

         Forests and Natura 2000 Challenges and Opportunities – Costel Bucur

         Management Plan and Business Plan – Alin Birda

         Partnership for Natural Resources Management in Apuseni NP – Alin Mos

         PAs Funding Situation in Ukraine

         PES Mechanisms for PAs Financing – Bogdan Popa

         PLAs Financial Instruments for Landscape Management in the CZ

         Strengthening Business Planning Capacity CNPAs – Marlon Flores

         Tourism Management and Financial Mechanisms in Tatra National Park

         UNDP-GEF Online Course – Todd Slater

         UNDP-GEF Project Results – Mihai Zotta

Financial Analysis Carpathian PA Project 2011

Financial Analysis Carpathian PA Project 2011 - RO

Pro Doc Carpathian financial sustainability project signed


Page last updated on 20/11/2013
Contact info

Project team

Dragos Mihai - Project Manager, National Forest Administration ROMSILVA

Robert Pache - Project Assistant, National Forest Administration ROMSILVA

Alexandra Ghenea - Task Leader a.i., UNDP Romania

Cristina Bucureasa - Communication Assistant, UNDP Romania

Project partners


Project address

UNDP Romania
Blvd Primaverii 48 A, Sector 1, Bucharest
Phone: (+4 021) 2017-804; Fax: (+4 021) 2017828

Implementation Agency / Main Partner

National Forest Administration ROMSILVA

National Project Coordinator

Dragos Mihai

UNDP Programme Supervision

Monica Moldovan, Head of Programme Unit

Project Manager

Dragos Mihai - National Forest Administration ROMSILVA

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