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General overview of the project

Introduction

Our project aims to establish a durable partnership between “Ovidius” University Constanta, The Agency for Environmental Protection Constanta and the NGO Getia Pontica Association from Kavarna (Bulgaria) in order to accomplish common research activities and to monitor the terrestrial coastal biodiversity (flora, vegetal associations, fauna, habitats) between Cape Midia (Romania) and Cape Kaliakra (Bulgaria) on a shore length of approximately 130 km.

The project is opportune because the lack of trans-border research in a very well defined geographical area (Cape Midia-Cape Kaliakra) means there is no up-to-date scientific database that can offer precise information regarding the types of coastal habitats, the main types of vegetal associations, the inventory of the littoral flora and fauna species, the distribution and number of populations of rare and endangered taxa, risk factors (natural and anthropogenic) that determine biodiversity losses in the coastal area of the Black Sea.  

Such a database will allow the improvement of actions meant to limit the anthropogenic pressure on certain coastal areas with high levels of biodiversity or with certain types of habitats of European or national interest. It will also permit the elaboration of efficient conservation methods, and even the restoration of habitats that are already affected by economic activities in the beach area and littoral seawalls.

As Romania and Bulgaria have been integrated in the European Union and the environment legislation has been standardized, a general evaluation of the Dobrogea coastal biodiversity is needed. There is an acute need of a Red List of vascular plants in the littoral area of Dobrogea that does not consider the administrative limits imposed by the border but only the size of populations and of area and the risk factors. It is also necessary to identify and map the habitats of European interest at trans-border level, which will permit the elaboration of proper conservation-restoration measures beyond the territorial limits of the two neighbouring countries.

Through the involvement in the field research activities of a large group of Romanian and Bulgarian specialists with competences in the research and monitoring of biodiversity, we hope to find a proper solution for the environmental problems in the littoral area of the two neighbouring countries.

Our actions also intend to involve the local and regional authorities as well as the civil society in the problem of conservation of biodiversity and preservation of natural habitats in the beach and seawall area. The increased awareness among the waterside citizens regarding the importance of conservation of areas with wild fauna and flora that are still unaffected by economic activities is one of our goals.


Grant objectives

  • The establishment of durable connections with our Romanian and Bulgarian partners with the purpose of developing joint research activities and coastal biodiversity monitoring between Cape Midia (Romania) and Cape Kaliakra (Bulgaria);
  • The evaluation of the current status of the biodiversity over the entire coast of Dobrogea, through trans-border research realized over the entire vegetation period;
  • The identification and mapping of the natural habitats of European interest, of the main vegetal associations, of the rare plant and animal populations and of the coastal areas with remarkable biodiversity;  
  • The evaluation of the anthropogenic impact on the natural habitats and coastal biodiversity between Cape Midia and Cape Kaliakra.
  • The identification of solutions for the preservation-restoration of natural habitats of conservational interest (according to the Habitats Directive) in the coastal areas heavily affected by human activities;
  • The wide popularization of our activities and research results (both in Romania and Bulgaria) through Conferences (in Constanta and Kavarna), through the publication of books, brochures, articles in the local press, the publication of a volume of the Conference in Constanta, the presentation of papers on the project topic at national and international conferences and symposia;
  • The elaboration and publication of a joint Strategy regarding the preservation of natural habitats and coastal biodiversity in Dobrogea;
  • The elaboration of recommendations for the improvement of the trans-border management of the coastal area between Cape Midia and Cape Kaliakra.  
  • The establishment of an information Center regarding the terrestrial coastal biodiversity of Dobrogea;
  • The setting up of a web page (www.coastal-biodiv.ro) for the wide popularization of our activities and results on the internet 

Expected results

We expect interesting results because the Romanian coastal area between Cape Midia and Vama Veche is largely affected by economic activities, while the Bulgarian area between Durankulak and Cape Kaliakra has a satisfactory conservation state. The field research associated with the bibliographical data will indicate the extent to which the biodiversity losses in the south part of the Romanian littoral are due to anthropogenic factors or to natural causes (the dynamics of ecosystems, climatic changes etc).

As a result of our joint research, we propose to elaborate and edit a Joint Strategy regarding the conservation of biodiversity in the Romanian and Bulgarian coastal area of Dobrogea. By implementing this strategy we hope to improve the coastal management, as well as the management of the protected areas or of other zones remarkable through their biodiversity.  

The trans-border research will be joined by the wide popularization of our activities and the dissemination of the results through materials that will be published from grant funds (a monographic book, a volume of the Constanta Conference, brochures, papers and posters).

The dissemination of the scientific information will be done within Forums organized in Constanta and Kavarna, with a large participation and representation – university professors, researchers, representatives of the local and central environment authorities, NGOs interested in nature protection, master students, students, waterside citizens.

Activities

  • Work meeting with the Romanian and Bulgarian partners (April 2008) with the following main objectives: to get better acquainted with the grant team, to establish work groups, work methodology and the areas of biodiversity concentration that will be targeted especially in the field studies and to discuss the technical and financial details of the PHARE CBC project. Work visits in different Romanian coastal areas where the field studies will take place.
  • Field research in the coastal area Cape Midia-Cape Kaliakra, between April-August 2008. 
  • The organization of a Forum in Constanta (September 2008), with two main objectives: the elaboration of a joint Strategy for the conservation of biodiversity in the coastal area of Dobrogea; the wide popularization and dissemination of the results obtained from the field research;
  • The organization of a Forum in Kavarna (October 2008) in collaboration with our Bulgarian partners with the purpose of popularizing in Bulgaria the activities of the project and the strategy regarding the conservation of biodiversity;
  • The publication of a monographic book with the scientific results of our research;
  • The publication of a volume of the Forum in Constanta, based on the presentations of the participants to the Forum, on the project theme;
  • The publication of a brochure with the proposed Strategies regarding the conservation of biodiversity in the coastal area of the Romanian and Bulgarian Dobrogea;
  • The setting up of a web page for the project (www.coastal-biodiv.ro) as an instrument of wide popularization of the activities and results of our grant;
  • The establishment of an information Center regarding the coastal biodiversity of Dobrogea, with the premises in the New Campus of “Ovidius” University Constanta (Aurel Vlaicu blvd.).

The grant team

  • Senior lecturer Marius FĂGĂRAŞ, Ph.D. – “Ovidius” University Constanta – grant manager and specialist in botany, phytocoenology, coastal habitats and conservation of phyto-diversity;
  • Professor Marian-Traian GOMOIU, Ph.D. – “Ovidius” University Constanta, corresponding member of the Romanian Academy, Director of the GeoEcomar Institute, Constanta, former governor of the Danube Delta; specialist in marine zoology, ecology, wetlands and conservation of biodiversity;
  • Associate professor Marius SKOLKA, Ph.D. – “Ovidius” University Constanta; specialist in zoology, invasive marine species and conservation of biodiversity;
  • Biologist Loreley Dana JIANU – The Agency for Environmental Protection Constanta, The Bureau of Biodiversity Conservation; specialist in protected areas, conservation of biodiversity and environment legislation;
  • Economist Lenuta BOBE – “Ovidius” University Constanta; specialist in finances and accounting;
  • Assistant professor Olivia CHIROBOCEA – “Ovidius” University Constanta; specialist in English-Romanian and Romanian-English translation;
  • Senior lecturer Paulina ANASTASIU, Ph.D. – Bucharest University, Bucharest, Faculty of Biology; specialist in botany, conservation of phyto-diversity and invasive plants;
  • Professor Dan COGĂLNICEANU, Ph.D. – “Ovidius” University Constanta; specialist in zoology and ecological monitoring;
  • Biologist Georgi Yordanov GEORGIEV – Getia Pontica Association – coordinator of the Bulgarian team, competences in biology and ecology;
  • Senior Lecturer Zheni NANOVA – “Konstantin Preslavsky”  University of Shoumen (Bulgaria), Faculty of Biology; specialist in botany;
  • Senior Lecturer Alexander DOYCHINOV, Ph.D. – “Konstantin Preslavsky” University of Shoumen (Bulgaria), Faculty of Biology; specialist in zoology;
  • Ecologist Ciprian SAMOILĂ – Ph.D. student at Ovidius University Constanta, specialist in IT;
  • Biologist Gabriel BĂNICĂ –  Ph.D. student at “Ovidius” University Constanta, specialist in ornithology;
  • Ms. Mihaela CONDUR – The Agency for Environmental Protection Constanta; consultant in project management; 
  • Ms. Lenutsa MARCEA – Getia Pontica Association; Bulgarian-Romanian and Romanian-Bulgarian translator;

Target groups

  • The Agency for Environmental Protection Constanta (the local environment authority);
  • The Waters Bureau Dobrogea-Littoral (responsible for beach management);
  • The academic environment and the Civil Society;
  • The NGOs concerned with environment protection (from Romania and Bulgaria);
  • The Environment Guard;

Final beneficiaries

  • The National Agency for Environmental Protection (the central environment authority);
  • The Commission for Natural Monuments within the Romanian Academy;
  • The local and regional legislative authorities;
  • The citizens from the waterside area;
European Union Phare
University Ovidius Constanta
Government of Romania

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