LIFE, the European Commission’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects, started in 1992 and had a major contribution to protecting Europe’s natural heritage. In Romania, the first co-financing was obtained in 1999, and Romania has been the beneficiary of 67 projects.
This year’s main theme of the World Environment Day is “Connecting people to nature”, which urges us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and importance. We therefore invited representatives from Local Authorities, custodians and administrators of Natura 2000 sites, and representatives of environmental NGOs to celebrate 25 years of the LIFE programme and to recognise the LIFE Connect Carpathians project at the Gendarmerie base in Zam, Hunedoara County. The modular base was established through funding from LIFE and enables the Gendarmerie to operate anti-poaching patrols from a local base.
The guests were taken to the Mures River valley, a key connectivity pinch-point within the project area. They observed and discussed the creation of two micro-corridors which provide permeable habitat for wildlife, ensuring the ecological connectivity of the landscape.
One of the specific project objectives is to increase functional connectivity by securing and restoring critical habitat and landscape features as corridors through a connectivity pinch point. The central area of the corridor is represented by the Mureş meadows, where there are several natural and artificial barriers to the movement of wild animals between the Southern and Western Carpathians. The project aims at restoring and ensuring the management of the migration corridors for wild animals.