Raising awareness of the Danube Delta with a view to boosting the quantitative and qualitative development of tourism in the region, was one of the medium and long-term objectives pursued with the proclamation of the “Landscape of the Year 2007 - 2009”. To guarantee that the people living in the Danube Delta will benefit and profit from this development, the greatest store has been set by their consent and early involvement.
Landscapes of the Year – Bridge Building in Europe
Since 1989, International Friends of Nature (IFN), the international umbrella organisation of the Friends-of-Nature movement, has pursued the objective of networking cross-border regions throughout Europe. What these regions have in common, apart from their scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage, are both opportunities and problems: Most of them are structurally weak, but hold the potential for an economic upswing driven by sustainable regional development. In this context, environmentally sound and socially responsible tourism that interacts with other economic sectors has a major role to play.
With a view to giving such regions active support, IFN designates them as “Landscapes of the Year” and accompanies them on the road to a better future, mounting activities, offering advice on professional tourism and regional development and fostering media and public relations.
Prospects of tourism and of cross-border human relations
As is known, Romania has entered the European Union in 2007. The question about the prospects this will generate for the Romanian part of the delta, but also for the current and future, cross-border human relations between Romanians and Ukrainians needs to be put not only to experts in the fields of politics, administration, economy as well as nature and environment protection, but first and foremost to the people living in the region.
IFN is the body responsible for the project, its executive partner in the region is Friends of Nature Romania (Prietenii Naturii Romania). Further project partners are the Romanian and – potentially the Ukrainian – Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, the Danube Delta Institute (INCDDD) in Tulcea, the Romanian Eco-Tourism Association (AER), and the Danube-Carpathian Programme of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Currently, the list of cooperation partners includes the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the Romanian Ministry for Tourism (through the cooperation with the Romanian Tourist Office Vienna), the German Society for Technical Cooperation/ Romania, USAID and the Ornithological Society of Romania.
Photo: Christian Baumgartner