Short name: ZARAND

Country: ROMANIA

Type of organisation: NGO

Zarand Association (AZ) is a key organization in promoting the importance of landscape connectivity and the harmonization of grey and green infrastructure in Romania. AZ’s practical approach is to present solutions for harmonization of sectoral management based on scientific/technical good-practices and adapted to address the local specifics, especially the needs of local communities.
AZ members were the first to pioneer the need to safeguard the last viable ecological corridor between the Western and Southern Carpathians as an example of good practice for Romania. Due to the efforts of AZ, a Statement of Intent has been signed in 2010 by a number of Romanian and International relevant authorities and organizations expressing their support to maintain the functionality of the corridor.
Furthermore, AZ was the lead organization to address the issue of Lugoj-Deva motorway by involving national stakeholders, national and international experts, including IENE, and EC in finding alternative solutions to the original project which would have been a barrier in wildlife movement. As a result, the Lugoj-Deva motorway is the first infrastructure project in Romania to incorporate mitigation measures and an example for the region.
AZ experts were responsible for a study commissioned by the Romanian Ministry of Environment aiming to identify new Natura 2000 sites that would ensure coherence of the network; as a result, in 2011, the first 17 Natura 2000 sites were designated in Romania with the main aim of ensuring connectivity at regional level. Following this, AZ was one of the partners of the Connect Carpathians LIFE Nature+ project (2013-19) which produced the first regional action plans for bear and wolf in Romania addressing the connectivity issue as the main objective. Moreover, AZ developed a pilot management plan for a Natura 2000 site within the corridor which includes conservation measures targeting connectivity for a wide range of species (invertebrates, fish, amphibians, bats, large mammals).
AZ was partner/contractor in a number of multi-partners / international projects related to connectivity and land management like EU LIFE Connect Carpathians, COREHABS, TRANSGREEN, HARMON.
AZ experts participated in the development of guidelines for avoiding fragmentation by the transport sector, at national and Danube Region level.
Between 2014-2018, AZ has been custodian of a Natura 2000 site within an ecological corridor and it has been implementing projects and activities related to conservation, sustainable development, capacity building and education.
AZ has initiated in 2017 the GreenWeb network of specialists in conservation and transports from the SE Europe which aims to develop into a regional working group of IENE.