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Managing Natural Protected Areas in Romania. Who is More Suited for this Task?

Bogdan-Nicolae PĂCURAR1, Vasile SURD1
1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Centre for Research on Settlements and Urbanism, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA

Abstract. The question embedded in the title of this paper is often heard in the meeting rooms of the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Several other variables arose, such as: Who is the most suitable for managing the natural protected areas of Romania? Which type of organization has the best credentials, experience, and resources to preserve these areas? The intention of this article was to present the main types of establishments who regularly apply for the administration or custody of natural protected areas in Romania, then to try to put forward their general strengths and weaknesses, more importantly the ways in which they can contribute to the preservation of such areas, and finally, if possible, to pinpoint the best suited organization for handling the issues that frequently arise in natural protected areas. Even though the absence of organizations that could have been suitable for such a task was startling, the research revealed a wide range of applicants for the title of administrator or custodian. No clear winner emerged, as each had its useful endowments, but also flaws that could disrupt the management of natural protected areas. However, these stakeholders could collaborate and, in theory, complement each other to attain sustainability in natural protected areas.

K e y w o r d s:  natural protected areas, management, administrators, custodians, government bodies, non-governmental organizations, Romania