by Tibor Hartel
The delineation of Natura 2000 sites is a condition for the adherence to the European Union (EU). These sites are delineated based on lists of species and habitats from the Habitats Directive. These species and habitats are called ‘…of Community interest’ and are strictly protected.
Romania and other Eastern European countries joined the EU, and this sharply increased the Natura 2000 sites (both in number and cover) at country level. To use a terminology which is often used in the country, a number of Natura 2000 sites were ‘declared’ based on lists of species and habitats of Community interest. And now armies of scientists research the natural systems to identify species and habitats of Community interest in order to develop a scientifically sound management plan for them.
It looks a bit funny and ironic, but it seems that in the traditional social-ecological systems people are not interested in species and habitats of Community interest. In fact, in most of cases they are not even consulted properly about this, and don’t even know why these should be ‘of interest’ for them.
Therefore the question rise: of which Community interests are the species and habitats of Community interest?