Regional disparities in the distribution of environmental conflicts from Romania’s Natura 2000 protected areas

Authors and Affiliations: 

Cristian Ioja, Mihai Nita, Alina Hossu, Diana Onose, Denisa Badiu, Steluta Manolache, Simona Bacau, Diana Panzaru,
University Of Bucharest, Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies

Corresponding author: 
Ioja Cristian

The establishment of the European Natura 2000 network has introduced a new paradigm in the management of the relationship between human communities and natural ecosystems. Thus, Natura 2000 try to connect biodiversity conservation with natural resources use into sustainable way. This change has had important implications for human communities and different stakeholders who have aggressively reacted to it, especially due to lack of considering of private propriety rights.
In Romania, the Natura 2000 network had a major spatial impact. In the past 15 years, Romania`s protected areas increased from 4% to 23% of the national territory. The newly established Natura 2000 sites included large areas covered by forests, water bodies, agricultural lands, as well as rural communities.
This growth has affected the forests, water bodies, agricultural lands or rural communities as a result of not being effectively managed at local and regional level. Besides of several protected areas have management structure, the lack of compensations followed by the uncertainties related to their management have driven intractable environmental conflicts. These conflicts could have more efficient management if level of regional European funds for biodiversity conservation are well oriented.
Our study aims to assess the characteristics of the environmental conflicts affecting the Romanian Natura 2000 network in order to identify the main deficiencies in their management. Media content analysis was conducted to gather information on the number, types, drivers, actors, causes, effects and other aspects linked with environmental conflicts. The analysis covers news published between 2005 by 2017 news websites of national, regional and local coverage. Data was analyzed using spatial analysis in order to highlight regional differences.
Findings are expected to shed light on the significant differences between different regions in terms of environmental conflicts characteristics. The regional disparities are significant both quantitatively and qualitatively and have huge impact on planning. Furthermore, such regional disparities become important when implementing the socio-ecological model promoted by the Natura 2000 network.



Borrini-Feyerabend, G., & Hill, R. (2015). Governance for the conservation of nature. In G. Worboys, M. Lockwood, A. Kothari, S. Feary & I. Pulsford (Eds.), Protected Area Governance and Management: ANU Press.
Dearden, P., Bennett, M., & Johnston, J. (2005). Trends in Global Protected Area Governance,1992–2002. Environmental Management, 36(1), 89-100. doi: 10.1007/s00267-004-0131-9
Hartel, T., Fischer, J., Câmpeanu, C., Milcu, A. I., Hanspach, J., & Fazey, I. (2014). The importance of ecosystem services for rural inhabitants in a changing cultural landscape in Romania. Ecology and Society, 19(2). doi: 10.5751/ES-06333-190242
Hersperger, A. M., Ioja, C., Steiner, F., & Tudor, C. A. (2015). Comprehensive consideration of conflicts in the land-use planning process: a conceptual contribution. Carpathian J. Earth Environ. Sci., 10(4), 5-13.
Iojă, C. I., Nita, M., & Hossu, C. A. (2016). Environmental Conflicts. In P. Novais & D. Carneiro (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Contemporary Conflict Resolution: IGI Global.
Iojă, C. I., Pătroescu, M., Rozylowicz, L., Popescu, V. D., Vergheleţ, M., Zotta, M. I., & Felciuc, M. (2010). The efficacy of Romania’s protected areas network in conserving biodiversity. Biological Conservation, 143(11), 2468-2476
Joppa, L. N., Bailie, J. E. M., & Robinson, J. G. (2016). Protected Areas: Are They Safeguarding Biodiversity? : Wiley-Blackwell.
Kati, V., Hovardas, T., Dieterich, M., Ibisch, P. L., Mihok, B., & Selva, N. (2015). The challenge of implementing the European network of protected areas Natura 2000. Conservation Biology, 29(1), 260-270. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12366
Stringer, L. C., & Paavola, J. (2013). Participation in environmental conservation and protected area management in Romania: A review of three case studies. Environmental Conservation, 40(2), 138-146. doi: 10.1017/S0376892913000039
Tudor, C. A., Iojă, I. C., Rozylowicz, L., Pǎtru-Stupariu, I., & Hersperger, A. M. (2015). Similarities and differences in the assessment of land-use associations by local people and experts. Land Use Policy, 49, 341-351
Wesselink, A., Paavola, J., Fritsch, O., & Renn, O. (2011). Rationales for Public Participation in Environmental Policy and Governance: Practitioners' Perspectives. Environment and Planning A, 43(11), 2688-2704. doi: doi:10.1068/a44161

Oral or poster: 
Oral presentation
Abstract order: