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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ROMANIA

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Within the Romanian Government the Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Industry and Trade are the most important entities.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The International Cooperation Principle is one of the environmental policy principles on which;The Environmental Strategy for Romania; is based. In accordance with this principle, multilateral relationships are being developed with the countries of the European Union as well as with other developed and developing countries. International cooperation is also based on international legal instruments such as environmental conventions and protocols to which the countries are parties. Romania has ratified the CITES Convention and is promoting specific procedures and settlements to implement it. In the legislative field a number of specific regulations concerning environment and trade are being formulated. In this context the relationship between the Central Environmental Authority and the Ministry of Industry and Trade is being developed by seeking to establish a common strategy, taking into account the relative priorities. Some actions in this area are:

Some concrete measures have also been taken for the protection of certain natural resources by limiting their export.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

No information is available

Cooperation

No information is available

 

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This information is based on Romania's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997

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TRADE

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Romania's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

There is no special Governmental body responsible for this issue. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Food and other ministries and governmental bodies are all involved. For example, Ministries of:  Transport; Research and Technology; Public Works and Regional Planning; National Office for Consumers Protection, National Network for Accreditation and Certification, Romanian Institute for Standardization, Romanian Office for Legal Metrology have developed the sectoral strategies policies concerning consumption and production patterns.

In addition, there are certain territorial administrative structures which promote these policies at a district level (ex: territorial branches of the Agency for Energy Preservation, District Agricultural Directorates, Counties Offices for Consumers Protection).

In according with national legislation (Romanian Constitution, Law of Environment, Law of establishing and functioning of NGOs, Law of local administration) all Major Groups have access to the making decisions process for promoting the sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is no special law for sustainable consumption and production patterns, but there are many regulations in different sectors that encourage or constrain economical operators to pay attention to matters concerning sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Within economic sectors (industry, agriculture, tourism, transport, commerce, etc.) there is a dynamic process of alignment at the codes of good practice of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 (ex: petrol industry, chemical industry). These codes are mandatory.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development - National Agenda 21, which is under development, has a special chapter concerning sustainable consumption and production patterns. Certain sectorial strategies, i.e. energy, industry, agriculture, and transport, also integrate policies and measures that promote sustainable patterns of production and consumption.

Specific issues addressed by these strategies include:

Policy and economic instruments that are applied to discourage unsustainable and encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns include:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Programmes to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns include:

National targets for enhancing energy and material efficiency, waste reduction, recycling, public transport and quality of life include the following:

In addition, industry is using reliable materials in the manufacturing process, increasing the reliability of installations and providing spare parts and maintenance services during the entire life cycle of products. These measures are mandatory.

Major projects underway include the following:

Projects and activities that have had significant impacts in changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns are (1) the production of electric energy on nuclear basis and reducing the one based on fossils combustibles; (2) eliminating the substances which deplete the ozone layer, during manufacturing of refrigerating equipment for commercial or house use , as too during manufacturing moos and cosmetics; and (3) production and use of gas without lead.

Status   

The current levels of efficiency in the usage of energy, water and other materials by industries and by households appears as follows:

Energy:

Average specific net consumption of heating for producing of electric energy : 11 515 kJ/kWh

In 1997, from total consumption of energy (64 millions tcc), industry represented 57% and households, 26%. In accordance with the National Strategy in the energy field, a decrease of energetical intensity is expected at 2005 year level: for industry with 22% and for population consumption, with 12.5%.

Water:

There are no special statistics concerning the efficiency of water use in industry. There is a recirculation of the water which varies from to industry to industry and from factory to factory. This ranges between 10 and 95%.

In agriculture, the main water use is in irrigation. The efficiency of the water use in the irrigation systems ranging from 60 to 80%.  The average specific water consumption in the urban area, at the country level, is about 513 l/inhabitant per day out of which include:

In the rural areas, consumption is approximate 150 l/inhabitant and day. There is a real concern for the water losses reduction. On average, at the national level, the losses will decrease from 34% (in present) to 15% at the level of 2020. Also, through the introduction of the real water prices, the economic units will have an incentive to reduce the losses in their water supply systems and to increase the re-circulation and re-use of the water.

Challenges  

The most pressing issues include the low level of investments and slow application of reforms in the national economy .

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Environmental protection courses have been introduced in educational programs, in all levels (preschool, school, highschool, university and post graduate). In addition, several governmental and nongovernmental organizations and universities have organized courses concerning sustainable consumption and production patterns. Training programmes have, too, been developed, for the people working in the refrigeration industries to learn how to phase out ODOs, and, with international organizations, to such issues as environmental management systems.

Specific awareness campaign programs to promote sustainable consumption patterns include those organized by:

Information   

Information is available:

Indicators related to consumption and productions patterns are addressed within the framework of the developing process of the national Agenda 21.

Research and Technologies   

Clean and environmentally sound technologies are promoted and applied in production through the following means:

Other technology-related issues that are being addressed include:

Financing 

Financing is provided by the national budget, private sector partnership, and external assistance.

Cooperation  

Cooperation takes place with assistance from projects with World Bank, the PHARE Programme, projects with Global Environmental Facility, a programme with European Bank for Development and Reconstruction, a programme with Multilateral Found of Montreal Protocol, and bilateral accords with Denmark, Holland, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

 

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This information is based on Romania's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update:  November 1998

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available 

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Environmental problems are caused by the existing energy-intensive industries with low economic efficiency. One of the priorities for the Romanian Government is the process of economic restructuring, for which available financial resources are limited. Romania is an ODA-recipient country. An important way to solve the environmental problem is to focus the existing resources on priorities. It is very difficult to make an estimation of the investments required for environmental protection purposes, but their effects are even more difficult to estimate. The latter requires an analysis of every polluting object (in industry, agriculture, transport and populated centres) based on restructuring projects, on re-technologization and, where necessary, on rendering them profitable.

Financial mechanisms have been promoted to support environmental investment through the privatization process. Based on the Environmental Law, negotiations between the former and present owners of companies are possible to cover the costs of erasing past environmental damages by the company in question. In addition, about 60% of the funds which have been obtained by the State Property Fund (FPS) by selling shares, could be returned to that society for using them in the fight against pollution.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

According to the data published by the National Commission for Statistics, GDP reached 48,333 billion lei in 1994, while the State Budget totaled 9,870 billion lei. Data published by the same Commission, reflect that investments made for environmental protection purposes equaled about 0.6% of the GDP and 2.73% of the State Budget. The economic agents contributed with up to 50% to those investment expenses.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

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  This information is based on Romania's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update:  April 1997

For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:
For information about issues and projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia from the World Bank, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

A national Agency for Technology Transfer has recently been created in the Ministry of Research and Technology. This Agency supports the practical application of the results of its own research. Technology transfer is based on trade, especially through environmental protection investments. International convention secretariats are also sources of information. In the Ministry for Water, Forests and Environmental Protection there is an Office for Information and Documentation which is connected to the Internet. A national information network also exists in the Ministry of Research.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) are most urgently needed in the energy and agriculture sectors as well as in the pulp and paper industries, the cement industry and the non-ferrous smelting industry. A copyright Law is in place but no reference is made in it to the promotion of investments related to the transfer of ESTs. To date there is no national policy or effort by the private sector to promote the transfer of ESTs or cleaner production processes.

The environmental law has, however, created the framework to promote certain clean production processes. At the national level, the National Action Plan in the field of the environment has been promoted. The implementation of this Plan also requires the transfer of technology. The Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Trade have responsibilities in this field.

So as to promote certain environmental investments which are supposed to include transfer of technology, small and medium sized enterprises will benefit from a 50% increase in tax benefit if their investments are in the environmental field. Presently, and based on the environmental law, regulations have been worked on to promote economic incentives to stimulate those firms which have environmental investments. The state has stimulated such investments in environmental "hot areas".

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A national system of standards has been organized, and the Network of Accredited Laboratories in Romania and the Account Book for Accreditation provides an accreditation system for laboratories and quality certification. At present, Romania is adopting the ISO standards and there are concerns regarding the application of ISO 14000. The Environmental Protection Agencies will follow-up with the economic agents in this field.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

In the field of transfer of technology, there is a need to increase cooperation between countries. It is also important to put into practice the various studies, analyses and evaluations in order to solve concrete problems. It is our opinion that in the future we should focus on finding specific mechanisms which can contribute to a better approach in the field of transfer of available technologies and through activities implemented jointly under the environmental conventions.

Research and Technologies   

Biotechnology

In this area some special concerns exist regarding research in the field of agriculture and animal breeding.

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This information is based on Romania's submission to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 and 1998. Last update:  February 1998.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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INDUSTRY

No information is available.

 

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Responsibility for coordination is with the Ministry of Transport.

Ministry of Transportation has attribution in management and improvement of the transport system.  Ministry exercise this attribution directly or by specialized technical organisms, public subordinated institutions specialized or commercial society authorized.  For politics and legislation elaboration in national system transports, Ministry of Transportation collaborates with Ministries of: Public Works and Land Planning; Industry and Trade; Public Function; Waters, Forests and Environment Protection; Agriculture and Food; Justice; local public administration and other stakeholders (professional organizations, syndicates). Politics and legislation in transports field are elaborate in concordance with Aquis Communautaire.  National legislations are approved by Parliament (lows) or Govern, and technical norms are approved by Ministry Order.

Central and local public administration are involved directly in decision making.  Professional organisations or association of employers are involved at different levels in the process of  elaboration of the legislation, depending on its field of activity.  

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Between 1992-2000 Romania’s legislation on transport has continued to improve and collaboration is with:

Emission standards adaptation and implementation are in conformity with European Union stipulation and Romania gives import permits for vehicle in concordance with standards of pollution at European level. 

Generally, it is difficult to establish what field of transport is more pollutant. To reshape and develop a transport strategy  there are stipulations for measures to encourage the use of public passenger  transport as opposed to private cars.  The state grant, for some category of persons, government subsidy for public passenger transports.  Public urban passenger transport and rail passenger transport are grant-in-aid.  So far public passenger (civil society) isn’t directly involve in elaboration of measures for environment-friendly transportation

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Ministry of Transportation elaborated in 1992 a development and reorganization of transportation strategy.   This strategy was up-dated in 1994, 1996, and 1998 in concordance with EU requirements.  It takes into account (in relation with general and specific purposes included also in “Position Document” regarding the transports policy) the continuation of the reshaping and ensuring the working of the national system of transport within efficiently conditions from economical and ecological point of view,  at the same time involving the European integration process of transport.

The Ministry of Public Works and Land Planning has developed in the same period of time the reshaping strategy on land planning – urbanism, public works, constructions.   In 1996 it became a valid Law 71/1996 regarding the land planning – Section I – Lines of communication.

In 1999 the Government of Romania approved the National Development Plan, elaborated under the coordinating of National Agency of Regional Development” through which there are integral treatment of all elements of regional development was assured.  At the level of urban communities there are local strategies of development of the public systems, with road and railway vehicles and of transport infrastructure through the traffic within urban community and the links to national /regional infrastructures stipulated for Law nr.71/1996.         

The purposes on short and long term plans is to take into account the working of national transport system in efficiently conditions ( in relation with National Sustainable Development Strategy) within the materialising of the concept of sustainable transport by:

-         Browning in functional parameters and utilising of existing capacities by repairing and modernising of infrastructures, installations and vehicles; the rehabilitating of national road net – 694 km in 2000; 534km in 2002, 625 km in 2004.  By 2006 there is a set goal to realise about 500 km of high ways and surrounding roads for principal cities  (Bucharest, Sibiu, Pitesti, sebes, Orastie, Deva).

-         The development of capacities on certain sectors situated on the route of pan-European corridors IV, VII, and  IX, as well as in other sections defined in TINA net (Transport Infrastructure Needs Assessment)

-         The expansion of combined and inter-modal transport using specialized rolling material, with high performances regarding energy consumption and the  environmental impact.

-         Using “pro-ecological” vehicles with treated emissions and limited noise (EURO 1, EURO 2, EURO 3, EURO 4). Beginning 2001 the obigativity of EURO 3 norms ( for the import of auto vehicles and by 2004 the obligatorily for auto vehicle made in Romania) will be introduced (MO 566/2000) and EURO 4 for the terms which will be set further (this level will be applied in UE in 2004 – the type homologation and in 2005 – at the first registration .

-         The encouragement of research and development in the field of reduced fuel consumption vehicles and alternative technology for transport.

-         The establishing of environmental factors affected by pollution by the implementation of specific un-polluting technologies

-         Avoiding of pollution by preventive measures; the traffic inspection and control of technical state of auto vehicles. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Groups and legal person (specialist) from universities, research-projection and production institutions participate at elaboration of studies and research for transport legislation.  Public opinions are made in the framework of debates in mass media. 

Regions which have the greatest needs for an improved transport system are North-East (Botosani and Vaslui county), South-East (Braila and Buzau county) and South-West (Dolj and Olt county).  A special situation has Danube Delta and Apuseni Mountains.  Rural population has the most urgent needs for an improved transport system.  In rural area public transport is subsidized by the government. 

Private sector participates actively in management of road, inland waterway and air transport.  Private road transport sector owns 80% of the total number of vehicles from Romania and achieve 50% of the passenger transport and more 70% of the goods transport.  In maritime transport field, in concordance with Low no.85/1997,  maritime shipping companies are obliged to create and to present technical documentation of management system for pollution prevention. After that Ministry of Transportation issue Document of Conformity for company and Security Management Certificate for shipping. The state does not involve itself in the management process of commercial company.

Programmes and Projects   

At the regional and local level administration, programs are drawn for public transport.  At the level of central administration (National Administer of Roads) in order to promote traffic efficiency, a set circulation restrictions are applied only for 3 national roads for goods vehicles with a maxim authorized weight bigger then 3,5 t, respective: DN 1 – Bucharest – Ploiesti during the working days; DN 1 – Bucharest – Brasov – Saturday, Sunday and during the working days; DN 2 Bucharest – Urziceni and DN 2A Saturday, Sunday and other non-working days in 01.06 – 15.09.2000.

In order improve the efficiency and optimization of vehicle circulation in Romania, there are 3 electronics data bases containing ordering and vehicle offer of road transport operator and about 1200 sending offices.  A percentage of 5 vehicles carry trailer and semi-trailer with reduced fuel consumption per ton loaded. With those are realized about 40% from total volume of the transport expressed in ton-km.  Consequently, the alignment of the homologation norms of auto vehicles to those from the UE, for new vehicle carbon oxide emissions have been reduced 5 times, volatile organically compounds about 4 times, nitrogen oxide about 3 times. The obligatorily of yearly checking of framing in pollution norms for the auto vehicles on duty also has been introduced.

In Romania there is an integrating system of road education beginning with the school level and going on after the acquiring a driving – license for the corporate bodies which use drivers as employees. For professional drivers the hire and periodical examinations are foreseeing, both from medical and psychological point of view.  The bettering of the quality and state of the infrastructure, a process being in progress in Romania, will also contribute for the reduction of accidents.  In cities, local administration has set central zones with historical or commercial specific dedicated exclusively for pedestrian circulation.

In the most of Romanian towns and small localities, walking is frequent for daily activities.  There is an extended program offering different types and models of bikes to the young population as a mode of transportation.  In three cities there are projects proposal for building up some bike roads.

In the framework of national program of research and development “Horizon 2000”, transports has its own program which include 5 general objectives.  At 2000-year level, in the framework of program were 84 proposal themes and between 2001-2004 period, there is an estimate introduce 2000 themes.  The objective has a principal target integration of Romanian transports in European system by macroeconomic politics, infrastructure development, new technologies, services and security in transports.  These objectives are also part of the UE programs (PHARE, COST, EURECA, ISPA and TINA).  There are some research program in 6 big Romanian towns for road systematization.  Most important project is for Bucharest and is realized by Japanese experts.

Status   

In this country, there is no tax system for vehicles with higher  pollution levels.  Lead free gasoline excise level is smaller than lead gasoline excise level.  

In Romanian legislation, by a Governmental Ordinance no.97/1999, regulation 369R1191 CEE on public services.  There is a good public urban passenger transport in urban areas as opposed to rural area where the demand is limited.  In the field of good transportation, there is overbid in both area(urban and rural).

Romania has an infrastructure net  (roads, railway, inland waterway, maritime and river ports, airports) which assure links by Romanian locality and international transport infrastructure.   Situation of  infrastructure transport  net is:

Ministry of Transportation does not establish norms of fuel consumption. Fuel consumption is distribution is controlled by commercial companies.

For phase out the use of leaded gasoline, in Romania lead free gasoline excise level is smaller than lead gasoline excise level.

Romania has, organized by Ministry of Transportation and separately by Ministry of Waters, Forests and Environment Protection, evaluation systems of pollution produced from road vehicles by local determination, in conformity with certain programs.  Because of old vehicles from vehicles on duty (30% has more than 15 years old) and bad upkeep, polluting emissions exceed unitary value emission from European Union, especially in urban concentration. Heavy vehicles are very pollutants, it represent 15% from vehicles on duty but give out 50% from pollutant emissions.  Principal measures take of Governmental Decision no.81/2000, Ministry Order no.565/2000 and Ministry Order no.335/1998 are:

·        Extension of traffic control for car and heavy vehicles, through equipping of the Romanian Auto Register with easy mobile laboratories and in perspective with heavy mobile laboratories (for lorry and bus). Number of controls in the traffic in last year is more than 17.000 and will be increase in near future.

By Governmental Ordinance no. 80/2000 and Governmental Ordinance no. 82/2000, was established for:

In the future, imports or production of cars will be authorized in conformity with EURO 2, and started with 2001 in conformity with EURO 3.

Challenges  

Romania’s mode of transport doesn’t requires most immediate attention in improving transport efficiency and reducing damages to ecosystems. The immediate goal should be to adopt measures to improve transport efficiency in the country.

Major obstacles from adopting more efficient transport and traffic systems are financial constraints.  For example, in road transport, the key is replace the old vehicles with new ones, but the costs are approximately 12 thousand millions EURO.

Legislative framework promoted by Ministry of Transportation grant special attention for application of pollution norms and technical inspections for UE integration.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

A few cities organized “A day without cars”, when people walk or used only public transport.  Romania does not have an organized mechanism to promote public awareness on the issues like the impact of car transportation which is a destructive element to the environment due to pollution.  The state subsidizes tickets to enhance use of public transportation. 

In the framework of road education, Romania TV and radio present aspects of security traffic in special emissions. Two national TV programs have weekly road education on missions.  Printed press presents daily information about most grave road accidents and, periodically, situation of accidents in last week. Ministry of Transportation in collaboration with professional associations periodically organizes a syndicate, conveyor and Road Police, analysis and symposium concerning road safety.  In framework of Ministry of Transportation, function Inter-ministerial Security Road Councils with participation of high representatives of other ministry for policy making on security road.

Romania is taking measures to promote awareness of the relationship between transport and environment for example:

·        through legislation, in Governmental Order no.890/1998 which stipulates the obligatorily for scholarship, at all levels, on road legislation and road security; 

·        A special handbook and illustrative materials are made available by the Ministry; and 

·        Organized “school patrol” with schoolboys. Periodically are organized competitions on road safety issues with schoolboys.              

Through perfecting centers under Ministry of Transportation (Personnel Perfecting of Civil Marine and Personnel Qualification for Port Operation Center; Personnel Perfecting of River Navigation Center) and other units under authority of Ministry of Transportation unfurl personnel perfecting programs.  In road fields, Ministry of Transportation authorized by 1994, two centers of professional formation for road transport. 

In the framework of these centers are organized programs for road personnel in different fields:

Information   

Primary information and methods used, in gathering information and maintaining a database related on road transport and traffic systems are managed by:

At national level, official statistics are organized by National Statistics and Economic Studies Institute.

Romania does not have an organized scientific data and information on vehicle emissions.  Information on traffic conditions is collected and made readily available to the public by information offices and mass media.  Information about road net is available to the public by National Road Administration or, in some instances, by Ministry of Transportation.

On National Road no.1 ( Bucharest – Brasov) exist a information system on meteorological conditions and the carriage road (RWIS).Exist sensory in the carriage road which measure speed and direction of the wind, the temperature, etc.

Research and Technologies   

Romania has a project proposal for utilization of alternative sources energy (LPG, electric, solarium energy). But is materializing only vehicles homologate for LPG utilization. 

For a more efficient traffic management can be realized in the following projects below:

a). PHARE:

b). Circulation restrictions in legal holiday and weekend applied only for some national roads;

c). Road training program for schoolboys, etc. 

Financing   

The main sources of funding are:

In development and reshaping transport strategy and in Governmental Action Plan are nominally projects and program on transport infrastructure development and quality of connected services. 

Cooperation  

Ministry of Transportation participates in the framework of international organizations namely:

In 1997, the minister of transportation concluded at Vienna (Austria) at Regional Conference of Transportation and Environment, Common Declaration and Common Action Plan. These measures are in course of implementation.  In 1998, was proceed, at Aarhus (Denmark), 4-th Ministerial Conference in the framework of Environment for Europe Program. At this conference the problems of reduction of lead emissions were discussed.  In November 1999, was proceed, at Sofia (Bulgaria), a conference on energy infrastructure, transportation, telecommunication and environment. All international agreement where Romania is a Part, are aimed at improving global transport systems. 

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   This information is based on Romania's submission to the 5th, 6th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update:  April 2001.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Tourism as the National Tourism Administration, member of the Romanian Government, is in charge of co-ordination and implementation of the general tourism development strategy. A Consultative Council has been set up as well. The Council is formed by representatives of the public sector (Ministry of Tourism, local authorities, Tourism Promotion Office and Licensing and Classification Office ) as well as the private sector (NGO s related to the tourism industry ) and has a major role in the decision-making process. Meetings of the Council take place every month and the agenda of these meetings includes important issues to be discussed and agreed upon. Following the Council's conclusions, the Ministry of Tourism takes the necessary measures to implement the proposals. This mechanism allows both public and private sector to be better involved in the decision-making and implementation process.

At the local level, the County Councils are responsible as local authorities of public administration. In line with the recently adopted law for regional development, regional agencies and committees will be set up. These will have an important role for sustainable development in terms of tourism sector. The institutional reform in this sector began with the creation of two independent bodies namely: Tourism Promotion Office and Licensing and Classification Office. Both of these offices have regional representatives. The Tourism Promotion Office regional representatives play an important role in stimulating cooperation between private and public sectors in order to implement programs for tourism promotion.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations   

The Ministry of Tourism has initiated and the Romanian Government has approved the necessary legislative framework in the tourism sector. All the laws and regulations related to this sector include special provisions for the protection of the environment. In this way, natural resources are protected by law and they are grouped into "protected areas" which benefit from special conditions for development and preservation.

There are, in addition, specific standards within the legislation in tourism promoted by the Government. These refer to the conditions required for the tourism activities in order to avoid damage to nature and to ensure its preservation and protection. These conditions apply for all activities: transport, accommodation, catering, balneary treatment a.s.o. Setting up Codes of Practice, Standards or Guidelines by industry itself is at an incipient stage in Romania. However, some trade associations ( i.e., National Association of Travel Agencies, Romanian Association of the Mountain Guides ) have successfully promoted their own Codes of Practice. The Hotel Industry Federation has also started to promote its own Guidelines for specific activities. All these codes are voluntary.

Industry has reacted positively to these codes and standards. Encouraging signs are visible on behalf of the tourists themselves too. Promotion campaigns are necessary to be carried out in order to create a true culture in this matter.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A Medium and Long Term Tourism Development Strategy has been released by the Ministry of Tourism and approved by the Romanian Government. The document is based on the recommendations included in the Tourism Master Plan for Romania produced within EC-PHARE Tourism Development Programme. Sustainability is the basic concept of this strategy.

Sustainable development is the overall objective of the Tourism Development Strategy. This includes:

The above mentioned strategy refers also to measures for promoting eco-tourism and nature-based tourism. These measures have been translated into a proper legislation.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

For the eight regions of the country, the Ministry of Tourism has identified major projects aiming to promote sustainable development in Romania. Areas and locations with tourism potential are identified for a long term product development strategy. However, in the short to medium term, efforts will be focused on priority areas and resorts, to avoid the dispersal and dilution of resources. The first phase priority is to improve and consolidate the product in areas that are currently most popular with international tourism and where the tourism facilities and infrastructure generally exist. These area are:

Micro-projects implemented by either local consortia or trade associations are encouraged by the Ministry of Tourism and, where possible, supported from different funds.

Examples of micro-projects co-financed by Ministry of Tourism from CE-PHARE Programme funds include:

Status 

Romania is a country in transition to a free market economy. The Romanian tourism industry is characterized by declining domestic and international demand, an outdated tourism product and service standards which do not meet the expectations of western tourist. Major progress and improvements have been observed in the last two years. Despite the problems, tourism is a significant industry in Romania. It counts for:

Below are some key figures for the Romanian tourism industry from 1989 and prospects for the next decade as projected by the Ministry of Tourism :

Year

Arrivals
-thousands-

nights
-thousands-

receipts
thousands
USD

% of GDP

% export of goods and services

1989

4850,0

53377

167,0

0,2

1990

6532,0

44552

106,0

8,2

1,7

1991

5359,4

31927

145,0

5,7

2,9

1992

6401,1

26076

262,0

5,0

5,2

1993

5785,6

24769

197,0

2,5

3,5

1994

5898,0

23296

414,0

3,0

5,8

1995

5445,0

24111

590,0

3,2

6,3

1996

5205,5

21838

529,0

2,9

5,4

1997

5149,2

19612

526,0

2,7

5,3

1998

5350,0

21200

550,0

2,9

5,6

1999

5600,0

22600

595,0

3,0

6,0

2000

5850,0

24400

635,0

3,2

6,4

2001

6000,0

26000

675,0

3,4

7,2

2002

6250,0

28700

725,0

3,7

8,1

2003

6600,0

29900

795,0

3,9

9,5

2004

6900,0

31400

830,0

4,3

10,2

2005

7300,0

32500

890,0

4,6

11,5

2006

7450,0

34000

955,0

5,0

12,8

2007

7600,0

37600

1025,0

5,7

13,6

2008

7850,0

42100

1100,0

6,3

15,0

Romania has a variety of tourism assets and attractions which have been developed and promoted for both international and domestic tourism: natural attractions (i.e., mountains, the Black Sea coast, River Danube and the Danube Delta, flora and fauna, natural spa resources, areas routes of scenic beauty and caves ) , historic and cultural attractions and other attractions such as handicrafts and performing arts, festivals and vineyards, conferences, exhibition and business related tourism. All these have been used in building tourism products and, in some cases, over use, in addition to the industrial pollution, has conducted to damaging the environment. Preservation and protection of all the resources became more visible in the last years. The awareness of both tourists and the local population has improved as a result of new legislation. Procedures for approval of development permits in tourist areas have also been improved, and the Ministry of Tourism cooperates with the Ministry of Environment in order to draw up criteria for the use of prospective developers.

Below are a few illustrative activities which are geared both to sustainable tourism and to eco-toursim and nature-based tourism.

Challenges  

In the Tourism Law it is stated that all operators should take the necessary measures to protect and enhance the natural environment. Basic criteria for classification and licensing accommodation establishments refer to minimal conditions of operating taking in considerations the environmental protection. General conditions for development of tourist areas and related activities (tourism transport, accommodation, catering, use of beaches, mountain slopes and resorts etc.) are strictly defined by regulations. These includes also penalties for environmental damages.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Training for tourism in Romania is conducted by four entities:

  1. Department for Economics at the National University
  2. Lycees with tourism profiles (Ministry of Education)
  3. National Institute for Tourism Training and Management (INFMT) which is controlled by the Ministry of Tourism
  4. Ministry of Labour and Social Protection which operates a number of skills programmes for tourism at County level

INFMT is the major center for training in Romania. It comprises an integrated complex with the training school, Park Hotel and Tourist Hotel in Bucharest. It also has a branch which operates in Constanta, the major city on the Black Sea coast, a traditional tourism destination in the country. On the job training has an important role in re-skilling and upgrading of the workforce. In Romania, short courses have been developed to strengthen the INFMT provision of supervisory and industry based train the trainers. Mobile training teams for advising managers on commercial operating systems are in place. A flexible part-time college training is also available for workers who cannot take extended periods away from work. The current system is easily accessible.

Competent management training has been also developed in Romania. There is specific curricula related to tourism management, tourism and economic and social planning, economic impacts of tourism, socio-cultural impacts of tourism on a host country, tourism policy and alternatives for development, the legal framework for tourism development, tourism planning and tourism marketing.

There are several projects implemented by NGOs mainly, co-financed by Ministry of Tourism, to raise the awareness of the tourists and host population on sustainable tourism issues. Pilot project for rural tourism development. This is a project implemented by the National Association of Rural, Ecological and Cultural Tourism addressed to rural areas in order to stimulate local people for tourism related activities, to protect nature and preserve cultural heritage, and to promote holidays in the countryside. A major component was to create a friendly environmental attitude and operation in travel and tourism. Setting up an Ecological Center in the Rodnei Mountain. This is a project implemented by Transilvania Business Center having as objective to create a center for ecological actions in the given area and to promote the center among other associations and tourism developers. The main activities were oriented to cleaning paths and the lake waters, restoration of tourist identification panels and notices of the Lala Lake reservation, improving signposting ,monitoring pollution levels in lake and press conference and campaigns. The project aimed to encourage walking tours and trekking as a natural based tourism and was addressed to the tourists which love to walk along the mountains. Environmental Action Pack. The project was implemented by the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation, and the objectives were to create a national awareness through communication of environmental issues to industry operators and staff, recruit volunteers and facilitators, involve new staff and reward establishments and individuals for their efforts, performance and achievements; to give a better understanding of the environmental issues for the new generation of hotel and restaurant industry students; and to create a national positive attitude for the air quality, saving energy and water supplies, waste and sewage disposal management.

The Ministry of Tourism includes a Strategy for Development and Regulation Department which has a rich data bank on different issues related to sustainable tourism. INFMT has been assisted through the EC-PHARE Programme in developing and upgrading the capability to provide useful information and documentation on sustainable tourism. The Institute has a branch in Constanta, the most important city on the Black Sea coast. In Brasov, the most developed mountain area has been set up a Resource Center for Tourism which can provide technical assistance for tourism developers. The Tourism Promotion regional offices play an important role in providing the necessary assistance to the industry and local key-factors in designing and implementing suitable actions and measures for a sustainable tourism development.

The marketing and promotion strategy is especially designed to encourage travels and holidays to unspoiled places, meaning that the message is addressed toward the environmentally-conscious tourists.

Information   

The following kinds of national information are available to assist both decision - makers and the tourist industry in promoting sustainable tourism:

The Romanian Research Institute for Tourism has a complete data base on the characteristics of all tourist areas in the country.

Potential users have access to all information and documentation at the Ministry of Tourism. For the near future it is planned to connect both Ministry of Tourism and Research Institute for Tourism to the Internet.

For the use of the Ministry of Tourism, local authorities and business community or any other developers, the Research Institute for Tourism has developed a basic concept for and sustainable development indicators. These are taken into consideration when releasing development permissions. There were also identified indicators for the assessment of carrying capacities; vehicle traffic and pedestrian numbers control; visitor management plans in National Parks and Protected Areas; and the levels of hunting operations to ensure they remain within sustainable limits have been proposed.

Research and Technologies   

The current legal framework indicates the basic requirements for the activities discussed above. However, the lack of modern technologies creates temporary difficulties in implementing projects and programmes aiming at protection against unsustainable development. Priorities lie particularly in efforts to upgrade sewage collection and treatment facilities, acquire adequate equipment and technology for the industrial pollution control, and upgrade the facilities for recycling.

Environmental management systems are applied in hotels and other tourist establishments.The Romanian Hotel Industry Federation has succeeded in implementing a project to review environmental practices and to develop a national environmental policy for hotel and restaurant industry in order to create a quality environment management programme and to involve operators and industry staff in this efforts.

Financing   

For the development needs of the Romanian tourism industry a Special Fund for Tourism Promotion and Development has been proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and approved by the Government and Parliament. In this way, the Ministry of Tourism can provide tangible assistance by co-financing projects proposed by industry ( i.e., creation and tourism product development, promotion of environmental awareness among local residents and business in tourism areas, educational programmes for visitors and tourists, promotion of codes of conducts in this matter, environmental preservation and protection etc. ).

Cooperation

In elaborating the tourism development strategy, the Ministry of Tourism has considered the good practice and experience of many countries and destinations recognized as models to be followed.

The Ministry of Tourism has benefited from European Union assistance through PHARE-pogrammes with a total budget of 10 millions ECUs during the last six years. The objective of the programme was to assist the tourism industry to make the transition from operating in a centrally planed to a market environment. It is understood that EU includes "model destination " countries for Romania.

The strengthening of the role of private sector and non-governmental organizations, in addition to decentralization are two key words of the reform in the Romanian tourism industry. Setting up the Consultative Council besides the Minister of Tourism, gathering both local authorities and trade associations, was the first step to a better cooperation with the above mentioned entities. Local tourism development planning process is made with the consultation of the Ministry of Tourism. The improvements of the legal framework are also discussed with local authorities and tourism sector associations. Further developments (i.e., regional development agencies and committees created by law) will allow a better partnership at decentralized level between all the institution interested in a sustainable tourism development.

Romania has concluded agreements in the field of tourism with more then 35 countries worldwide.These comprise specific provisions aiming to encourage cooperation on different issues related to sustainable development : exchange of information and experience, documentary visits, round tables and seminars, training, marketing and promotion etc. At the same time, Romania is an associated member of the European Union. The European Agreement provides the broader concept for the necessary framework for sustainable development promotion.

Romania is a member of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) , a regional organization committed to engage in economic co-operation and to encourage the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour of eleven countries riparian to the Black Sea. It is also member of the Central European Initiative (ICE), another regional organization of some Central and Eastern European countries. In both organizations, the Romanian Ministry of Tourism is an active member in the tourism committees.

 

* * * 

This information is based on Romania's submission to the 7th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: November 1998


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