“Nature does nothing in vain.”
The following information and recommendations are, in fact, simple rules of common sense. Their aim is to protect the biodiversity of the natural areas included in the Natura 2000 sites and to allow visitors to enjoy nature, undamaged, for as long as possible.
We therefore propose to you a short guide to good behavior in nature, meant to recall the main protection measures that are required during the visit of the nature reserve areas included in the Natura 2000 European Ecological Network.
What is Natura 2000 Network?
Natura 2000 Network is a European network of protected natural areas that includes important natural areas at European level, hosting special habitats with wild plants and wildlife of community interest.
This network was set up due to the alarming fact that many wild plant species and animals have become increasingly rare in Europe and some have even disappeared from certain European countries. At the same time, in many places on our continent, people no longer follow a healthy way of living, in harmony with nature. That is why the “Natura 2000 Network” is meant to protect nature, maintain its wealth in the long run and provide resources for people to happily sustain their existence.
To achieve this, there is no need to ban all human activities, but to have a sustainable management of resources, so that the next generations will be able to enjoy the opportunities and benefits that nature offers us today. Therefore, it is required to pay attention to the needs of people and nature also. In other words, this network can be likened to a mother whose purpose is to care for both the environment and people.
What is a Natura 2000 site?
With the economic development and world evolution, people have easily started to forget their origins, and the pressure on the environment has grown. But recently, they have noticed that irresponsible actions, such as the irrational cutting of forests and hunting in excess lots of bird species and mammals, have contributed to the emergence of natural imbalances.
Thus, a system of protected natural areas has been established, which, by law, obliges us to protect forests, meadows, water and the populations of plants and animals. This system of protected natural areas is the most effective way of protecting biodiversity in the long term.
The protected natural area is a clearly demarcated geographical area, designated by legal acts, in which biodiversity, natural resources and cultural values are protected from the danger of accelerated and reckless social development.
If we were to think of a classification of the protected natural areas, we would have the following:
- areas of national interest: scientific reservations, national parks, nature monuments, nature reserves, natural parks
- areas of international interest: natural sites of universal natural heritage, geoparks, wetlands of international importance, biosphere reserves
- areas of county or local interest
- areas of community interest or so-called Natura 2000 sites: sites of community importance, avifauna special protection areas
Rules of good behavior and good visitation
These measures are designed to protect biodiversity, thus being mandatory. Therefore, the measures must be respected by all who visit a protected nature reserve area.
Therefore, each visitor has the responsibility to get informed about the territory of the site they are about to enter. They need to know at what times they are allowed to visit, which recreational activities are allowed, to respect the visiting rules set out below and to encourage a good behavior, in order to preserve and protect the natural capital.
On the territory of the protected sites and protected reserves (ROSCI0005 Balta Albă-Amara- Lacul Sărat Câineni-Jirlău, ROSPA0004 Balta Albă-Amara-Jirlău Site, Balta Amara Reservation, Balta Albă Reservation, Jirlău Reservation), the following rules are complied mandatory for all visitors:
- Waste will be transported/ deposited by visitors to specially designated collection points (containers, bins, baskets or trash pits).
- In addition to being unsightly, waste and, in particular, improperly abandoned packaging on the site may be swallowed by animals, thus putting their lives in danger. On departure, it is advisable to check the camping area or the picnic area to ensure that no waste or leftovers are left behind.
- The information or warning boards, signs, markings, pillars and safety features are there to inform and guide us. They must not under any circumstances be altered, damaged or destroyed. In the absence of orientation information, tourists could get lost or risk injury.
- The maintenance of the tourist markings and the signage & information boards’ location are only allowed with the custodian’s approval. As for the case of new tourist routes, these will only be approved if the legal provisions are met.
- Camping is allowed only in specially designated places – marked with the specific signs, displayed on the spot – according to the law and rules established by the camping site manager and approved by the custodian. It is forbidden to make alterations or adjustments to the sites by improvising new shelters.
- Camping in other areas than those allowed may only be done with the consent of the manager/ custodian, only for activities that do not prejudice the favorable conservation status of species and habitats, in circumstances justified as beneficial to the site.
- Making new paths or shortening the existing paths should be avoided. Marked paths indicate the safe way to the destination, therefore taking a short way can lead to accidents. In addition, you can destroy the vegetal carpet and disturb the birds and other animals.
- Breaking, cutting, destruction or alteration of vegetation is strictly forbidden. To protect biodiversity, the visitor must not intervene in any way (even if motivated by good intentions) on plants, shrubs or trees. Vegetation provides food and shelter to many species of birds, amphibians, reptiles and animals.
- At the same time, nature must be preserved as it is. That’s why we will not pick the flowers. Instead, for memories, we’ll just take pictures. The flower bouquets would whiter in vain in no time and by our foolish action we would also steal from other travelers the joy of admiring them. The survival of flowers in nature is a true miracle that must be protected.
- Everything must be left as it was found. We shall admire nature by gazing and through the photo camera, without touching the cultural and historical heritage or any other artefacts we discover.
- We shall also leave the stones and other natural elements as we found them.
- We shall not capture any creatures encountered in protected areas, nor will we introduce other specimens into their territory.
- We will observe the fauna by keeping the distance, without getting any closer than it is allowed. Thus, animals, birds, and other creatures will be able to continue their activities at will, without feeling threatened.
- When farming or carrying out any other agricultural activities in the immediate vicinity of the protected areas, we will carefully supervise the herds and dogs accompanying them, so that they do not enter unauthorized areas and destroy or endanger the vegetation and fauna.
- Feeding the birds and wild animals is strictly forbidden. By altering the diet and their natural behavior, we will only endanger their health and life.
- Refuges, shelters or any other arrangements made for the management of protected areas must not be destroyed. These are there for our benefit and for our own good. For example, in case of bad weather, these cand be used as shelter.
- Access by motorized transport within the protected areas shall only be done with the consent of the manager/ custodian, for activities that do not prejudice the favorable conservation status of species and habitats, only in situations justified as beneficial to the site.
- Noise and car emissions drive animals away, polluting the atmosphere and destroying plants. Also, washing vehicles in waters/ on lands in protected areas is strictly forbidden. Such activity pollutes water and soil, affecting flora and fauna.
- Keeping quiet is very important, especially during mating, nesting and breeding. Feeling threatened, birds can abandon their nests or leave their babies, thus lowering their chances of survival. In the absence of baby birds to ensure the continuity of generations, the species are at the brink of extinction. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid loud talk or the use of radio/ mobile phone to play music. As much as possible, we shall only let the sounds of nature be heared.
- Killing animals, birds or plucking flowers and destroying vegetation are strictly forbidden. Each species has its role in nature and any loss can bring about other undesirable changes in the life chain.
- Use of open fire is strictly forbidden. Fires destroy the flora and endanger the life of birds and other living creatures that are part of the fauna, causing imbalances in nature.
- When noticing any activities that are/ could be harmful to the environment, we shall immediately notify the administrator/ custodian of the protected natural area that we visit.
- We shall only use the marked routes, and go only in areas where access is allowed. We shall resist the temptation to venture on paths other than those open to public access, respecting the measures designed to protect natural areas.
- During the visit taking place in the protected natural areas, we shall not drink alcoholic beverages. The best liquid for hydration remains water. Thus we can enjoy the beauty of nature with clear eyes.
- Last but not least, before visiting any protected natural area, we will ensure that we are in good health and physical condition. Also, we shall carefully organize our visit to the these areas:
– we shall choose the right clothes, boots and any other garments required, according to the season and the weather forecast
– we shall make sure that we have enough food and water for the time spent on our visit
– we shall make sure the phone battery will last long enough or that we have a spare/ rechargeable battery
In addition, it is always good to know how to give first aid. Just in case.
In case of unforeseen events endanger the safety, health or even the life of you or someone else – (eg you have lost yourself, you have been injured or you are experiencing an aggravated state of health on the background of an older condition) during your visit to the protected areas, alert the General Emergency Inspectorate by calling 112.
Your alarm call must inform about:
- Identification data of the person making the call.
- The nature of the accident or event (injured, sick, stray, etc.).
- The condition of the injured person or persons (presumptive diagnosis, vital functions, etc.).
- The identification data of the victim (s).
- The place and time of the event.
After giving the first aid (if applicable) and ending the alert call, remain as close as possible to the area with telephone signal. In the event of an accident, the injured person must be first priority; this person shall be housed, thermally protected and permanently supervised.
These recommendations and rules have been recalled to reduce the impact of hiking on the protected natural areas we visit and to prevent environmental damage (to landscape, flora, soil, air or water).
Civilized hikers are aware the must obey these rules even when not displayed in the visited areas. Therefore, they will always behave so that the following hikers won’t notice that someone else has already passed through.
Thus, enjoying nature in a civilized way, we will contribute to its protection and at the same time will provide the necessary framework for sustainable tourism and a responsible way of living, in harmony with nature.