It is not often that Romania’s image is associated with positive things. That is why I was nicely surprised to see Transylvania and the Carpathians featured both in the Financial Times (here) and on Travel Channel (video below), all in the last couple of months. What is even more important is that both reports, beyond praising the beauty of the Romanian landscape and its rural life stuck a few centuries ago, warn us about a problem that few are really aware of: the threat to the forest ecosystem in the Carpathian mountains.
The message is clear: the potential is there for great Eco-tourism initiatives, but the priority should be protecting the wild life and the rural life, enforcing a ban on illegal logging (that has been destroying the forests in the last two decades at a scary pace) and starting to value this natural heritage for its uniqueness. There have been many recent initiatives and NGO campaigns lobbying for the preservation of the Carpathian habitat but more often than not these are mostly coming from Western Europe, from organisations and people passionate about nature and charmed by the purity of the Romanian landscape. What is still missing, in my opinion, is a bit of “sense of ownership” by Romanians in all these plans and projects. And this can only be encouraged by a strong belief in the value of the natural habitat and its need for preservation. It is not enough to admire, one needs to be aware of the broader balance of the regional ecosystem, in which the Carpathian forests play an important part. It takes some effort, but it’s worth it!
Well, at least according to Jeremy Rifkin! He develops an interesting argument here linking climate change, economic recovery, energy, globalisation, the financial crisis with future opportunities:
Despite the economic crisis and the struggle to save the euro, the European dream is not dead yet: what Europe needs is an “economic vision and game plan that would create a seamless, distributive energy grid” to build a third industrial revolution.
Read the complete interview with Jeremy Rifkin here.
The 2nd round of “Th!nk about it” has just been launched. The topic of the EJC blogging competition this time: Climate change. So if you interested in the topic and you would like to blog about it do apply as soon as possible! From my previous experience in the first round of “Th!nk about it” on the EP elections I can assure you that it will be a lot of fun! Apart from the usual gadgets there is also the possibility to win a trip to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December and (presumably) blog about it!
The focus this time is much broader and goes beyond Europe, however, from a European perspective it would be very interesting to have someone covering EU climate change policy and looking at how the EU approaches the COP 15 negotiations in Copenhagen…
Check out the details:
TH!NK2 Climate Change is a 3 month blogging competition with a focus on UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) in December 2009. 81 bloggers from Europe with featured guests from India, China Brazil and the USA, representing the world’s biggest players in climate policy, will come together on the European Journalism Centre‘s thinkaboutit.eu platform, to exchange ideas and debate the issues of climate change.
Participants are encouraged to report about stories in their own back yards; to bring out the local side of a global issue. The aim is to create a portal into the minds of 81 people, to show how each one experiences the effects of Climate Change policies every day.
Go to the official website to find out more!