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MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS VRANCEA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY LIFE08NAT/RO/000500 - Implementation Unit

LIFE NATURE LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 LIFE+ LIFE URSUS Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in the Eastern Carpathinas, Romania

Inception Report Covering the project activities from 15.01.2010 to 31.08.2010

Septembre, 2010

Strada Dinicu Golescu, nr. 2 Focsani, judet Vrancea

www.carnivoremari.ro E-mail: vrancealife@yahoo.co.uk

Tel: + 40 237 206788 Fax: + 40 237 206788 Mobil: 0727 77 41 44


LIFE Project Number

LIFE08 NAT/RO/000500 Inception Report Covering the project activities from 15.01.2010 to 31.08.2010 Reporting Date

30.09.2010 LIFE+ LIFE URSUS Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in the Eastern Carpathinas, Romania

Project location

Data Project Vrancea County, Covasna County, Harghita County

Project start date:

15.01.2010

Project end date:

20.12.2013

Total budget

515 066 â‚Ź

EC contribution:

386 300 â‚Ź

(%) of eligible costs

75% of total eligible budget

Name Beneficiary

Data Beneficiary Vrancea Environmental Protection Agency

Contact person

Mr. Silviu Chiriac

Postal address

2 Dinicu Golescu, code 620 106, Focsani, Vrancea, Romania

Telephone

+ 40-237-206 788

Fax:

+ 40-237-206 788

E-mail

vrancealife@yahoo.co.uk

Project Website

www.carnivoremari.ro/lifeursus


Table of contents 1. Executive summary 1.1 General progress 1.2 Assessment as to whether the project objectives and work plan are still viable 1.3 Problems encountered 2. Administrative part 2.1 Description of project management 2.2 Organigramme of the project team and the project management structure 2.3 Partnership agreements status and key content 3. Technical part 3.1 Actions 3.1.1 Action A.1 3.1.2 Action A.2 3.1.3 Action A.3 3.1.4 Action A.4 3.1.5 Action C.1 3.1.6 Action C.2 3.1.7 Action C.3 3.1.8 Action C.4 3.1.9 Action C.5 3.1.10 Action C.6 3.1.11 Action C.7 3.1.12 Action D.1 3.1.13 Action D.2 3.1.14 Action D.3 3.1.15 Action D.4 3.1.16 Action D.5 3.1.17 Action D.6 3.1.18 Action E.1 3.1.19 Action E.2 3.1.20 Action E.3 3.1.21 Action E.4 3.1.22 Action E.5 3.2 Availability of appropriate licences and authorisations 3.3 Envisaged progress until next report 4. Financial part 4.1 Putting in place of the accounting system 4.2 Continued availability of co financing 4.3 Costs incurred 5. Annexes 5.1 Partnership agreements 5.2 Deliverables 5.3 Maps, drawings, technical designs, technical memos etc. as appropriate 5.4 List with activities annexes 5.5 List with project articles in LIFEURSUS

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LIST OF ABREVIATIONS Project acronym

LIFE08 NAT/RO/000500

Beneficiary Environmental Protection Agency Vrancea

EPA VN

Partners Environmental Protection Agency Covasna

EPA CV

Environmental Protection Agency Harghita

EPA HR

Association for Biodiversity Conservation

ACDB

Association for Conserving Natural Values

ACNV

Others

Risk Assessment Team

RAT

Animal Rescue Mobile Unit

ARMU

Large Carnivores Rehabilitation and Monitoring Centre

LCRMC

Putna-Vrancea Natural Park

PVNP

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1. Executive summary

1.1 General progress LIFE URSUS project started on 15.01.2010 and the first three months have focused mainly on the development of administrative procedures, such as hiring the necessary staff, signing partnership agreements, starting of equipment procurement procedures, etc. A necessary place was insured for proper developing of project implementing unit and have been provided the stocks of supplies necessary for first months of activity. The entire project management team works in the space provided by EPA VN, other partners developing their activities in their own premises. Activities have been initiated to promote the project and the LIFE + program and it has been made the first informative materials (brochures, folders, shirts, pens). Preparatory activities in category "A" started, being met all deadlines, excepting the delay in making the GIS database. Opinion questionnaire aiming the way that locals perceive the target species and Natura 2000 sites have been run under the applying regulations. Damage assessment and achieving the database have been started since the beginning of the project, at this moment team responsible having sufficient data to assist in directing conservation measures or educational and information activities. At the same time from the first months has begun the concrete conservation activities of target species, being initiated activities to reduce damage in sites where bears causing problems, research and monitoring of active dens, intervention of RAT team (Risk Assessment Team) in order to capture and relocate of habituated individuals, the ARMU team interventions (Animal Rescue Mobile Unit) that focused on releasing of some poached bears or confiscation of orphaned bear cub. In the education and information activities it have been completed the implementation toolkit to promote the project and LIFE program and have been initiated preparatory actions to launch other educational activities. In each county meetings were held with the institutions involved in brown bear management, being communicated project objectives and actions. At the headquarters of all partners and work stations there were installed panels to promote the project.

1.2 Assessment as to whether the project objectives and work plan are still viable The project objectives and the work plan are still viable as foreseen. There have been some delays in some action but none of these are significant and none of these are likely to modify the achievement of the project objectives or the success of the single actions.

1.3 Problems encountered By this time there were not significant problems in terms of project implementation except for the first months of a lack of specializing financial administrator in the implementation of European funds and monitoring contracts with external partners. The situation was generated by the retirement of Mrs. Mara Plesa which was originally designated as financial administrator. At this moment this problem was overcome by part-time employment of Mrs. Plesa on the financial project administrator position, necessary funds being allocate through rescheduling personnel costs assigned to other categories of employees.

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2. Administrative part 2.1 Description of project management The project management is conducted in accordance with the initial proposal. The project is coordinated by the project manager (Dr. Chiriac Silviu - EPA VN), project assistant (Miss. Mariana Gheorghiu - ACDB) and financial administrator (Mrs. Maria Plesa – starting with September 2010). Also in the coordination structure of the project is included the Working Group composed of one nominated representative of each partner. A database containing contact details of persons involved in project coordinating circulated among partners to encourage internal networking among involved institutions.

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The project manger carries out the following duties: Technical and financial supervision of actions carried out by the beneficiary and the project partners Supervision of the work done by the financial manager Determination and control of internal administrative rules Control of the technical performance of the project actions (timing, deliverables etc.) Organization and coordination of steering group meetings, reports Coordination of actions that are carried out on a multi-partner basis Communication with the EC and the external monitoring team Support of communication between partners Support to project participants about technical and administrative issues

Assistant project manager carries out the following duties: direct coordinator of field actions, assist and report to the project manager the results of actions and operations and any problems during the project. Assistant project manager assure monitoring the success of actions implemented in accordance with the provisions of action E2 based on the verification sources and of indicators initially established. In the attributions incumbent, the assistant manager coordinate (based on decisions taken by the working group and project manager), all partners activities and ensure the correctness of achieving target proposed in each action. The project manager is directly supported by a financial manager (also hired by then beneficiary with a project contract), who has the following duties: - Supervision of all administrative procedures carried out by the project partners (e.g. contracts with staff, purchasing procedures, requests of documentation etc.) - Support to project partners about financial rules of the EC and eligibility of costs - Support to project partners for financial statements - Coordination of production of financial statements - Control of financial statements delivered by project partners - Control of project budget and potential changes

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2.2 Organigramme of the project team and the project management structure

Director Comity of the project

Unitatea DG LIFE

Project’s working group (partners)

Project manager

Project manager’s assistant

Financial manager

Activity responsible staff

2.3 Partnership agreements status and key content All the agreements have been signed in January and the main articles included in the agreements were the following: - Subject (Including name of project) - Duration - Obligations of the beneficiary (including cofunding and communication with the EC) - Obligations of the associated beneficiary: actions the beneficiary is responsible for, deliverables and timing, relations between the associated beneficiary and other associated beneficiaries - Common obligations - Subcontractors - Civil liability - Conflicts of interest - Technical activity reports: specifying the contents and deadlines of different types of inputs provided by the associated beneficiary - Communication actions, publicity for Community support and audio-visual products - Confidentiality

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Financial reporting: includes details about timing and procedures of financial reporting activities Estimated eligible costs and associated beneficiary’s contribution to the project Payment terms: includes bank details and exact timing and procedures with which the payments are made to the associated beneficiaries, also in relation to the timing of the financial reports Ownership and exploitation of results Commission financial audit Checks and inspections Termination of partnership agreement Jurisdiction clause

All the partnership agreements are annexed to the Inception Report.

3. Technical part

3.1 Actions (presented according with project structure and work plan) 3.1.1 ACTION A.1: Creating the project’s implementing team and the Steering Committee Objective: Establishing each partner responsibilities, communicate the main terms according to contracts and creating the main bodies of the project The objective is achievable according with initial project planning. Expected results: A functional Project Implementing Team, Steering Committee and Project Secretary, insuring communication between partners and singing contracts between partners Progress: The project “Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in Eastern Carpathians, Romani”, financed by European Union and implemented by Vrancea Environment Protection Agency with the support of the project partner institutions like Environment Protection Agency Covasna, Environment Protection Agency Harghita, Association for Conservation of Biodiversity and Association for Conserving Natural Values, had started in January 2010 with preparatory discussions for establishing the management structure and project implementation, a first step being to establish the project Implementation Team at the First Meeting of Partners. The First Meeting of Partners was achieved on 21 January 2010 at Targu Secuiesc, Covasna County where reprezentative from all partners involved in project development participated. This meeting had as propose to create the implementing team a avut scopul de creare a echipei de implementare and the Steering Commitee of LIFEURSUS project, being also finalised the contracts between bebeficiary and partners. At this meeting there were discussed and clarified many detailes about project implementation. The report of the First Meeting of Partners was achieved in March 2010. At this moment the Implementation Team includes:  Project manager - Silviu Chiriac;  Assistant project manager – Mariana Gheorghiu,

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Financial administrator - Maria Plesa

The Implementation Team and project secretariat was developing their activities into the headquarters of Vrancea Environment Protection Agency in Focsani, in a space with special destination. Project secretariat insured the communication between partners putting of their disposure a list with main contact data of all institutions and persons involved in project activities. In accordance with project actions, there were established the attribution of each job from the project and regulations of activities developing and the job files referring to the attributions of the persons which were followed to be employed. There were established the responsibilities for each member of project coordination equip and was signed the detailed agreements with each partners. The agreements with partners were signed according with CP and Romanian legislation. At the end of January 2010, in accordance with partnership convention provisions, EPA VN signed together with partner institutions, contracts necessary implementing project activities from technical and financial point of view. As it was established at the First Meeting of the Partners, EPA VN organised the second meeting of partners. This meeting has as objective detailed establishing of implementing manner of each action from the project, responsibilities, persons and resources involved, establishing the working planning for achieving of each activity. In this context every member of the Working Group achieved a proposal on concrete modalities for implementing the actions which responds. This meeting was organised in Baraolt locality, Covasna County in period 18-21 February 2010 at Cormos hut. Problems: There were no problems. Plans to continue: The project secretary will ensure in the future proper communication between partners. The Steering Committee will insure the well implementing of the project’s activities from the legal point of view and will insure the necessary institutional support for each activity. The Steering Committee will have annual meetings in order to verify the project’s activities and will over sign the reports toward the financer. Annexes: Contracts signet by partners

3.1.2 ACTION A.2: Creating an integrated GIS database to support and demonstrate conservation actions of the project Objective: Support for long-term monitoring strategies for the conservation and management of the bear’s population for 15 Natura 2000 sites is assured. The objective is achievable by September 2011. Expected results: An up to date consistent online database for 15 Natura 2000 sites in compliance with EU INSPIRE Directive, serving as good example of cooperation for the common conservation action on brown bear within three counties Progress: A screening of the existing GIS information, the ongoing monitoring programs and the

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real necessities and possibilities for the project database to be easily and permanently up-dated by different non GIS technicians from the major stakeholders (EPA’s, Forestry District, Park Administrator, Natura 2000 custodians, stakeholders) was performed so far. The screening is a mandatory phase in considering the most important data for the conservation measures of brown bears in the project area. Understanding the necessary data and its structure (GIS format, statistic-tabular, descriptive) and data availability or time for providing is important in defining the real costs, necessary time to build up the system we propose, technical training of the stakeholders contributing to the database up-date and the type of external support we need. Moreover, we had discussions with other LIFE projects beneficiaries who had implemented such GIS systems; this was crucial in understanding the needs and steps for the implementation of the action. The GIS and other information available so far was structured into three categories (1) available data, which is already structured and completed for at least Vrancea county; (2) data available partially, rough data which is not structured to be used in GIS and is not for all the project area; (3) not available data or data which is not readable through GIS files (e.g. descriptions, statistics, old maps, custodians, etc) and needs to be digitized and structured as tabular. All these categories need to be homogenized and structured in order to serve to the web portal and different queries and analyses. Information on soils, geology, water levels, land use and properties is already available for some sites. Problems: During the screening phase we found out that one of the most important thing in the creation of a web portal for the proposed purpose is well-structured data harmonized for all three counties. The wide array of stakeholders and data needed (from private forestry owners to state administrators, wood businesses to hunting and tourism, local administrations to county planning and national policy-makers) to achieve our objective will be more time consuming that initially predicted. The success of the action stays in a well-structured database and data availability; part of the data should be collected during the project and serve to conservation actions, so where and how to integrate the data has to be agreed before the establishment of the database structure. During the discussion with other LIFE projects beneficiaries we found out that designing the web portal on multiple levels it requires proper database structure and well defined queries on the available data. Plans to continue: We plan to split the action in two parts: one for the elaboration of the brown bear database and the second for the design of the web portal on two levels of security and interest. The first one is necessary for the harmonisation of the existing data and for searching the possibilities to introduce the non-available data, which has to be provided during the implementation. The advantage is that we can use the database for the project implementation as desktop application and see what adjustments must be done before to open to the public and stakeholders. The second is necessary to involve the stakeholders on the decision process based on the available data. The proposed steps for this action can be summarized as follow: 1. Elaborate the brown bear database for desktop application:  Establish the structure of the database and the requirements to fulfill the EU Directives and Natura 2000 sites along the Danube (e.g. species and habitats) – to be finalized in September;

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Define Terms of Reference for the database – September 2010

Open tendering – September 2010

 Sign a contract for the elaboration and harmonization of the data base for the project area – October 2010 

First draft of the database – January 2011

Database available for desktop application – February 2011

 Database running as desktop application to project beneficiaries – March – April 2011. 2. Develop the online GIS portal for the project 

Define Terms of Reference for the web portal – March 2011

Open tendering – April 2011

Sign a contract for the web portal design – May 2011

hardware and software to deliver the best to general public and stakeholders – mid June 2011

Report on the above mentioned necessities – end of June 2010

 Design and implementation of the web portal including the hardware/software and appropriate settings available to stakeholders (secure version for those uploading data on the system) and general public (visualization and querying) – July 2010 

Testing the system (e.g. debugging) – August 2011

 Collecting and populating the database; this will be a continuous activity ending when all the sites are completed (at the beginning just one site will be complete in order to make all the necessary settings and queries) – September 2011 

Online version of the web portal available – October 2011

Annexes: N.A.

3.1.3 ACTION A.3: Elaboration of a strategy for implementing the raising awareness actions, based on the assessment of the local people’s perception of the target specie in the Natura 2000 site’s ecological network Objective: Identifying the actions and communication necessities with target groups for a good implementation of the awareness campaign The objective is achievable according with initial project planning Expected results: Achieving strategy and implementing the raising awareness campaign, report on the efficiency of awareness campaign Progress: Actions concerning the implementation of awareness campaigns in this project are preceded by the application of some opinion questionnaires that have shown how the locals perceive the target species and the Natura 2000 network. The questionnaire model was taken from LIFE02NAT/RO/8576 project and has been updated with new questions related to the current context. The research had as main objective studying the current level of information and attitude of the population in areas overlapping with Natura 2000 areas, with the cohabitation areas of humans

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with bears in the counties of Harghita and Covasna. The research had a total sample of 433 people in the above areas, aged between 16 and 60 years. Questionnaires were applied in period July-August 2010, according with the random algorithm of sampling, taking into account the overlapping areas of the towns of Natura 2000 areas in the cohabitation of humans with bears in the counties of Harghita and Covasna, and also the number of households in each village, as it follows: - A number of 26 localities from Harghita County, in which there were applied a total of 303 questionnaires; - A total of 24 localities in Covasna County, in which there were applied a total of 130 questionnaires. The results of studies conducted in counties Harghita and Covasna were compared with those obtained from surveys conducted in Vrancea County, in the projects LIFE05NAT/RO/000170 and LIFE02NAT/RO/8576. So, at the beginning of September 2010, was achieved interpretation of questionnaires, these informations being presented in the report “Identification of actual level of information and attitude of local population from overlapping areas of Natura 2000 sites and people-bears cohabitation areas from Harghita and Covasna counties, based on an opinion survey applied on field in period July-September 2010”. The report was achieved by a team formed by Leonardo Bereczky, Anegroaie Ximena from ACNV, Lucian Benca – psychology student and Robert Kovacs – sociologist. Problems: There are no problems encountered. Plans to continue: Based on the interpretation of these questionnaires, it will be develop an implementation strategy of awareness campaign that will highlight which are the key messages, target groups that are required to be achieved, which are most at risk localities and where are the “hot” areas from the negative attitudes about bears point of view. The same set of questionnaires will be applied at the end of the project to assess the changing perception and obviously the local response to the implemented campaign. Annexes:  The questionnaire applied in Covasna and Harghita counties  Report about the actual level of information and attitude of local population from project areas about the existence of brown bear and of the Natura 2000

3.1.4 ACTION A.4: Analyze the bear damages at the entire project’s area level in order to establish the protection system’s implementing sites Objective: Reducing conflicts through permanent assessing the level and locations of damage and by developing a standardized methodology in order to applying the best systems and methods. Expected results: Report on analysis about damages produced by bear on the entire project area; elaboration of a methodology on implementing the protection system for crops, orchards, sheepfolds and bee farms. Progress: A first step in this activity was to develop a database about the history of damage production by bears in the current project. So, all partners have provided to the responsible of action (ACDB) data held on bear damage in the Vrancea Covasna and Harghita counties.

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The next step was sending to all mayors and hunting managers of the project area, some prestamped forms, that after completing the required information were returned by mail to each Local Environmental Protection Agency. After validation, the data were inserted into a database which automatically converts the damage caused by bears in a currency unit, so, being updated a vectorised map for locations with high levels of incidents. Database on the damage caused by bears is GIS compatible and contains information on: location of damage (village, municipality, county, x/y coordinates), damage type (sheep, cows, pigs, corn, fruit trees, beehives, etc), owner (name, contact information), favourable items (type of enclosure, distance from the forest, travel routes, number of guard dogs, shepherds number, etc.), date, time, systems of protection used, total value of damage at the community level (in euros). The database is continuously supplemented with information received from all partners in related activities (C1, C2, C7), information provided by fund managers hunting, minutes provided by Local Agencies of Environmental Protection and information obtained from local mass-media. Analysis of collected data in the field were completed through achieving and editing of a “Methodology for implementing the protection systems for crops, orchards, sheepfolds and apiaries for reducing the damages caused by bears� that directs how the project team implements protection systems for sheepfolds, crops, bee farms and orchards. Through this methodology it has been established the most vulnerable sites on bear attacks, the technical characteristics necessary to diminish damage according to the area to be protected, there were described minimum measures to reduce damage in different situations and types of farms. Methodology also shows the institutions involved in activities to reduce damage and also promotes the work of institutions that can intervene in situations of conflict and risk. It also presented also the legislative context, referring on concrete ways to pay compensation for damage caused by bears. The methodology has ISBN and will be transmitted to the Ministry of Environment for approval. It was achieved in July 2010 by Silviu Chiriac, Gelu Radu and Radu Mihai Sandu from EPA VN and Ioan Mihai Pop from EPA CV. Problems: No problems. Plans to continue: Constantly filling the database referring on damage caused by bears in the three counties overlapping to project area and directing the project team to implement safety systems to areas with high incidents; Sending an official report by the Ministry of Environment in order to reduce rates of intervention on the bears population in relation to the actual level of damage, given that at this time the bear represents a strictly protected species and its shooting being accepted by the European Commission only in the given context a high level of damage. Annexes: Methodology for implementing of protection systems of crops, livestock and apiary to reduce damage caused by bears; Map of the distribution of damage at the project level; Photo annex

3.1.5 ACTION C.1: Demonstrative application of a method set for quantitative and qualitative assessment of the bear population in areas strictly demarcated and administrated from game management point of view Objective: Improving methods of assessing the brown bear population in Romania in order to ensure an efficient management of brown bear population, through a demonstrative application of

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a set of methods, and elaboration of a guideline, useful for the game management units and Natura 2000 site’s managers activity. The objective is still achievable within the framework of the project. Expected results: Elaboration, print and dissemination towards the wildlife managers of a guide/manual regarding optimal size and structure population level assessment methods at brown bears. Optimizing the conservation methods of the target specie at the project’s level, due to the right obtained information referring the brown bear population in each wildlife management unit. Reduction of the harvested number of individuals among the intervention quote at the population level. Progress: In order to prepare the implementation of the activity, the EPA CV team has prepare, at the end of July 2010, a spatial and time planning of the implementation of the demonstrative methods. Starting from March until May 2010, the project team from EPA CV, has been involved in collecting information about the time of the exit of the brown bears (males and females with cubs) from the winter sleep, in different areas from Covasna and Vrancea county. Also in this period the team has joined the game management administrators on daily field activities in order to establish the contacts with the field personnel of the administrators. Part of the necessary equipment is already purchased. Problems: At this point we still need to adapt details of the proposed methods to the Romanian landscape and estimated population of the brown bears. The interest and the knowledge’s of the field personnel of the game managers regarding the principle and procedures of estimation of bear population methods is lower than we assumed at the proposal of the project. Plans to continue: At the end of October 2010 the detailed guide will be finalised and in November 2010 it will be discussed in the National Working group for large carnivores. After this, the guide will be presented to the stakeholders (Ministry of Environment and Forests, Hunting Associations, Natura 2000 sites managers) in a workshop, organised in the framework of the Action C5. During this period, the team will start preparing the field for the methods and starting from February 2011, the field implementation of the methods will begin. Annexes: Spatial and time planning of the implementation of the demonstrative methods (RO)

3.1.6 ACTION C.2: Creation and demonstrative working at the entire project’s area level of an entity which will establish the risks and necessary measures in situations created by problem bears Objective: To prevent and reduce the conflicts between bears and local people. The objective is still achievable within the framework of the project. Expected results: Decreasing of the cases when the solution is the killing of individuals, by promoting the alternative measures. Extending at national level the experience gathered in the frame of the project. Standardized methodology for risk assessment regarding habituated and problem bears.

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Progress: At the end of February 2010, the RAT team was created by designation of the at least one specialist from the each beneficiary of the project. The new formed RAT team has started cu developed the Risk Assessment Methodology, under the coordination of the EPA CV team. Starting from March 2010 the first conflicts has been register at the EPA VN. The first draft was analyzed in the project working group. At the end of May 2010, the draft was discussed with the Romanian Project Coordinator of the LIFE07/NAT/IT/000502 also dealing with human-bear conflicts. At the beginning of June the final methodology was officially sent to the Ministry of Environment and Forests for approval. The Ministry approval was received at the end of June. Starting with March 2010 until end of August the RAT Team has analyzed 18 conflicts in the project area (2 in Vrancea county, 7 in Covasna county, 9 in Harghita county). During this period a part of the RAT toolkit (posters, flyers) were distributed in the project area. Part of the necessary equipment is already purchased. Methodology realized under the LIFE+ Nature project “Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in Eastern Carpathians, Romania" by Ioan Mihai Pop from EPA CV, Both Joszef, Szabo Szilard from EPA HR, Silviu Chiriac, Radu Mihai Stanga from EPA VN, Cosmin Stanga, Gelu Radu from ACDB, Leonardo Berezcki, Ximena Anegroaie from ACNV, was completed in March 2010. Problems: During this period the involvement of other public institution involved in bear management was small. There is also a small confidence of the general public that the public institution will solve the problems, and the results is that part of the conflicts are not reported. Also in some cases the EPA HR RAT members have to travel on them expensive to the areas were problems occurred. Plans to continue: At the end of November 2010 the first analysis of the results will be made in the project working group, and the problems identified in the methodology will be resolved. During the spring 2011 the posters already distributed in the project area will be changed and some new informing materials will be distributed to the stakeholders. At the end of the year 2010 all the necessary equipment will be purchased. Annexes: Risk Assessment Methodology (RO); Partial Report of the 2010 activities and results (EN)

3.1.7 ACTION C.3: Extending of the Animal Rescue Mobile Unit (ARMU)’s action range at the entire level of the project area and insuring of rapid interventions for capturing, relocating and monitoring of problem bears Objective: Prevention through different actions of rescue, trap release, relocation, monitoring of brown bear population decline caused by poaching, accidental killing of specimens from humanbear conflict areas. Expected results: Extension and training of ARMU’s team, promotion of the activities and interventions. Saving of some poached bears at the whole project level. Decrease of the number of killed problem bears and their relocation. Reducing the conflicts with local people by relocation of problem bears. Progress: Considering expansion both action area and the ARMU team, since the beginning of the project it was necessary development of a new Regulation / protocol for operation of the Animal

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Rescue Mobile Unit and the Center for Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Large Carnivores (Annex 1 C3). Between 27 -28 April 2010 took place at Lepsa, at the Center for Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Large Carnivores, the first training session for new team ARMU members. Accommodation for participants in training sessions was provided to the CMRC, and transport costs were borne individually. List of participants included the ARMU team made in previously implemented projects, LIFE 02NAT/RO/8576 “In situ conservation of large carnivores in Vrancea County” and LIFE 05NAT/RO/000170 “Enhancing the protection system of large carnivores in Vrancea County”. Radu Mihai Sandu, Silviu Chiriac, Gelu Radu and Cosmin Stanga, Florin Vulpoiu - veterinarian and members opted for team extends: Ioan Mihai Pop from EPA Covasna, Szilard Szabo and Jozsef Both from EPA Harghita and Leonardo Bereczky and Ximena Anegroaiei from ACNV and George Vlad - veterinarian. Session included activities for theoretical and practical application, simulations of action in accordance with the ARMU protocol. There were presented and discussed the Regulation of operation of the Center of Monitoring and Rehabilitation for Large Carnivores and Intervention Protocol for Animal Rescue Mobile Unit – ARMU, there were presentations/ interventions of equipments for tranquilising interventions, the releasing from improvised traps, transport, relocation and monitoring of specimens of wild fauna and of wild animals tranquilising techniques. All participants in training session took part on practical applications for intervention procedure for tranquilising, the releasing from improvised traps, of wild animals. For greater mobility of ARMU activities it was made a cage for wild animals transport. Cage features are represented by considerable size and reduced weight, the possibility to be used without being installed on a car, being easy to carry only by two team members. Utility of this cage for transport has been proved in ARMU actions. At the Center of Monitoring and Rehabilitation for Large Carnivores it is ensured permanency of ARMU team through presence of at least one member of implementation team assisted by volunteer staff. For volunteer staff, through the project budget there are supported food and transport costs. Building condition of the Center of Monitoring and Rehabilitation for Large Carnivores led besides actual maintenance works also achieving some Slimicides treatment of wood. Power generation system which was based on a generator that uses gasoline was doubled by commissioning of a panels system for converting solar energy into electricity. This system can sustain normal energy consumption of the Center, requiring input of electric generator only in special situations. Through using the solar system, emissions of CO2 and noise is not a stress factor for animals in the Center. Increasing the number of animals simultaneously held at the Center led the extension of existing enclosure for ungulates. Inside the Center, it was surrounded a space of approx. 500 sqm. with possibility of connection with existing modular system. For feeding specimens of wild fauna at the Center, there were regularly purchased and stored amounts of specific feed (grain, alfalfa, feed concentrates, milk). Veterinary nurse within the ARMU team is provided by veterinarians Florin Vulpoiu and George Vlad working in collaboration contracts. Proper functioning of the Centre and especially its permanency service are always conditioned by the continued existence of the amount of gasoline needed for electricity generator, wood for heating and current maintenance consumables. For harvesting of forage and grass cutting in both the Centre and in actions related to the installation of crop, sheepfolds and apiaries protection against damage caused by bears, it was bought a motorcycle - scythe, this equipment being not on the equipment listed in the original project. This equipment has a value of 250 euros.

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In order to inform local authorities and locals in the area of project implementation about the existence of ARMU and the Center, it was designed a poster and a leaflet promoting their actions, following to be published and distributed in the area of project implementation (Annex 3 C3) (C3 Annex 4). ARMU activities: • In January 2010, the ARMU team made several trips to Vintileasca town for capturing in order to relocate of a bear with habituating trends. Although this period is overlapping on winter sleep period, the specimen was observed in households of the Vintileasca built village. Field team installed capture cages in households where bear caused damage, but because of not returning in any of these places, it was not possible to capture the problem bear. Pronounced decrease of temperature in early February was likely the main reason because of which it has not been reported the bear presence in this area. • On 23.06.2010 the ARMU team was announced by the existence in the area Lepsa, right next to DN2M national road, a bear cub. The specimen was taken and transferred for integrate in the rehabilitation period at the Balan - Harghita Center. Investigations conducted in the region where the bear cub was found, revealed that the in that area, on the day before, there were initially two cubs. Heavy road traffic in the region, and stress-induced by the human presence to which were added flashes of tourists cameras, have made that one cub to depart from that place, before they can be picked up by ARMU. • After the evaluation made by RAT for a bear specimen present in the Bodoc area, the EPA Covasna team members in collaboration with the region's hunting fund manager decided to capture it. Female specimen was captured on 24.06.2010 and after attaching the GPS transmitter having frequency of 150,030 it was relocated in favourable habitats in eastern of Covasna County. The bear continue to be monitored also at present. (Annex 2, C3) • RAT team and staff of the EPA Covasna developed specific assessment procedure to establish the need of capturing for relocation of a specimen bear from Malnas village area. On 05.07.2010 ARMU team travelled on capturing location and took a male bear specimen captured, which it was carried in an area with favorable habitat at approx. 40 km. distance. • On the evening of 13 July 2010, ARMU team was informed of the possible presence of a bear in an improvised trap immobilized in an area with meadows and orchards situated between the villages Haulisca and Coza, without specifying the exact location. Confirmation of information by fund manager hunting and exact identifying of specimen was made around 11:00 p.m. hours, in an area with no car access and without guarantee of a safe intervention for the team. They led to programming the ARMU intervention at 5:00 o’clock on 14 July. At the intervention moment of ARMU team on the site, the bear was not found. • ARMU took over on 10 July 2010 from the illegal detained owners and transferred to Monitoring and Rehabilitation Center in Lepsa Funicular, two specimens of the species Cervus elaphus. Problems: There were no problems. Plans to continue: By overlaying the maps of bear presence monitored in period 2003 - 2010 with maps of land cover types and considering the significant production of orchard fruits (apples, plums, walnuts), there will be designate areas with potential risk of poaching with improvised traps. There will be realised field activities in these areas to eliminate installed traps and for discouragement of this type of combat. This action is backed by promoting the methods for reduce conflict by using electrified fences, repellents substances and of visual and acoustic chasing devices.

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Existence at the Center, of specimens included in rehabilitation programs, determine the presence and continuous support from Centre staff. Rehabilitation programs for specimens held today, is follow to be concluded in early summer of 2011. In the next period there will be run ARMU promoting actions in local communities by distributing informational materials of ARMU. Annexes: (annex 1 C3) Regulation protocol ARMU/ CZITAS, (annex 2 C3) Monitoring map 030, (annex 3 C3) ARMU poster, (annex 4 C3) ARMU leaflet, (annex 5 C3) ARMU interventions map.

3.1.8 ACTION C.4: Reducing of juvenile mortality caused by human disturbance with the protection of hibernation dens in the cub nourishing period Objective: Reducing of juvenile mortality caused by human disturbance with the protection of hibernation dens in the cub nourishing period Expected results: Achieving of a first assessing of wintering areas for bears and dens inventory for selecting the monitoring sites during winter sleep. Progress: The action started with the analysis of Forest plans of forest areas from most of the project implementation area. To this category of information there were added those obtained by consulting the forest staff from field and hunting found managers and those resulted from experience of the teams formed in wildlife conservation projects implemented previously, LIFE 02NAT/RO/8576 “In situ conservation or large carnivores in Vrancea County” and LIFE 05NAT/RO/000170 “Enhancing the protection systems of large carnivores in Vrancea County”. Based on these sources there have been identified 63 areas with dens and areas where bears are wintering repeatedly in the last 5-7 years. Dimensions of these areas are proportional with accuracy of their determining. In cases of more precise knowledge of some areas, there have been designated restricted areas up to 500 - 600 sqm. while in other cases the surfaces were extended up to 5 ha. Table of attributes from the database includes, besides vectors, precise location, indicatives for planning units (u.a.) and the overlapped production unit (U.P.). Precise location was performed for 32 dens of different categories, of which 23 were active in the previous season, which were measured and monitored. Monitoring of each den was made based on a file type (Annex 1 C4) of which information collected can be found entirety in the attribute table of GIS database (Annex 2, C4). All information on wintering areas and bear dens were structured in GIS database format (Annex 3, C4). After consulting of specialized offerings on the market, it was initiated proceedings for the acquisition of equipment for temperature and humidity monitoring dens (Annex 4 C4). Until now four different systems were configured for video monitoring of dens, being contact manufacturers to acquire some of the components. Problems: Determining the type of equipment that are to be used in den monitoring with video systems and sensors with climatic parameters proved to be more difficult than other parts of the action. There were identified two major problems with video monitoring equipment acquisition of dens: 1. For equipment having special purpose for this kind of activity, costs exceed the project budget, and for importing from manufacturers in the U.S. (due to the inclusion in the category of military equipment) it must be obtain government approvals.

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2. Due to specific characteristics that equipment must meet, no one from manufacturers of common video surveillance equipment that have requested proposals could not configure optimal functional systems. Plans to continue: Given this state of fact, there will be purchase equipment with special purpose within the limits of budget allocated to the action, it will be set up systems having common equipment but without continuous monitoring and will be adjusted monitoring equipment used in LIFE 05NAT/RO/000170 project. (Talon - Digital Scouting Camera, Recon). The action continues with identification of the precise location and inclusion in the database, of new dens areas and bears wintering areas, in order to imposition for these regions of specific management measures. In the next period it is going to set up video surveillance systems and recording of climatic parameters and to settle into dens until their occupancy by bears. Annexes: (annex 1 C4), (annex 2 C4), (annexa 3 C4), (annex 4 C4), (annex 5 C4)

3.1.9 ACTION C5: Lobby for adopting by the Environmental Ministry (MM) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MADR) of a methodological guide on the optimal methods of assessing the brown bear population Objective: To ensure that the results of the Action C1, the methodological guide on the optimal methods of assessing the brown bear population are recognized and approved by the national authority The objective is still achievable within the framework of the project. Expected results: Approval by the Ministry of Environment of the Methodological Guidelines concerning Monitoring Methods for brown bear. Acceptance and widespread using of the proposed methodologies Progress: In the year 2010 two meetings of the National Working Group for Large Carnivores Conservation were held. In the first meeting the manager of the project has made a short presentation of the project objectives and action. In the second meeting the EPA CV project coordinator has presented the objectives and the short description of the methodologies that will be applied in the project areas. During this meetings the general opinion was that the project objectives and results, could create a positive change in the bear management at local and in the future at a national level. At the end of June 2010 the EPA CV team has prepared a Protocol of meetings for lobby action, that will be applied for organizing the future workshops and meetings that will be held in the project framework. Problems: The political and administration changes from the national structures of the environmental authorities could influence the results of the action. The fluctuation of the personnel at the central level could also be a problem that could create complication during the action implementation. Plans to continue: At the end of the 2010 year, the first workshop will be held to present the Methodological Guidelines concerning Monitoring Methods for brown bear. During the 2011 activities on the framework of the Action C1, we will invite the decision makers from the ministry to join us in the field activities.

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Annexes: Protocol of meetings for lobby action.

3.1.10 ACTION C.6: Implementing at the entire project level of several demonstrative crop, livestock and farm protection systems by using repelent equippment and substances Objective: Preventing and reducing conflicts between bears and local population at Covasna, Vrancea and Harghita couties level through implementing of several demonstrative crop, livestock and farm protection systems by using repelent equippment and substances. The objective is achievable according with initial project planning Expected results: 30 electrical fence systems set down every year at agriculture fields, live stock and farms on the range of the entire project; Reduction of damage level on the whole surface of the project and reducing human-bear conflicts; Promoting among local people the best damage reducing practices. Progress: Most of the bears attacks have many chances of success due to the rudimentary protection systems. In this way a lot of animals losses appear, sometimes existing the risk of human life losing. The damages are usually great, and this leads to poaching. The landowners set up snares in order to repel the wild boars, but in many cases, the victims are the bears. The result of such activities is a high rate of poached animals. Proving the advantages of implementing the electric protection system for sheepfolds, orchards and crops to the people will lead to a low rate of poaching and to reduce the adversity about bears. In the first phase of the project, those 12 complete electric fencing systems existing in the material basis of LIFE05NAT/RO/000170 project were transferred together with mounting accessories and tools to responsible of this action (ACDB). In May 2010 were purchased component parts for manufacturing of 30 protection systems with different technical features and there were made other warning acoustical systems, visual or repellent (with flags textile cords, small wind mills, audible warning systems, repellent substances as lithium chloride) needed to complete electrified fencing systems. To reduce leakage power in the soil through the grassy vegetation, in addition to the initial budget, EPA VN bought a moto-mowers (about 300 euros), which is used for cutting grass under electric fence wires. When starting the action, the Association for the Conservation of Biological Diversity has created a stock of equipment and damage reduction systems consist of: - Complex systems of electric fences (with different types of pulse generators: solar, 220V, 12volt batteries, rechargeable 6 V); - Textile cords with flags; - Audio-visual metal systems; - Repellent substances (hukinol) Based on information obtained during the damages analyses action but also on demands of the team RAT, there has begun activity to implement of protection systems activity on a range of the three counties overlapping on project. So, starting in late May 2010 were installed 30 complex systems for protection of sheepfolds, bee farms, crops and orchards where there have been reported damage caused by bears. For each protected perimeter, there were studied factors that favored damages producing being taken measures to reduce them.

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The 30 protected perimeters are located in the Vrancea, Harghita and Covasna counties in areas where human activities and bear habitat overlap, conflicts being generated by the existence of some trophic offers. Mixed protection systems consisting of electric fences, flags cords, audiovisual systems and repellent substances, have been installed in: 14 sheepfolds with sheep and goats, 1 cattle ranch, 8 crops, 6 orchards and 1 apiary (see annexed map). At the RAT request there were installed protection systems in the perimeter where it was considered as effective method of reducing conflict.

The electrical fences were delivered to beneficiary based on a contract signed between ACDB as supplier, and physical persons responsible with surveying the owner as users, the limit term for using this equipment being 15 May and a date mutually agreed. After limit date the equipments are took over by the responsible team, for keeping and maintenance until the next season. After the assembling of the electrical fences, teams of 2 people each have ensured the surveying of the protection system through weekly visits of sites and full filling the surveying forms for avoiding technical problems and for evaluate the task success. Cost-benefit analysis is periodically evaluated, being achieved a file that is permanently updated with information about attacks, the damages and eventually costs for maintenance of the protection systems. Problems: There were no problems. Plans to continue: Demonstrative protection systems will be installed each year based on the information collected during the action on the analysis of damage (A4) and at the RAT team requests (C2). Surveillance of protection systems operation through visits of sites and filling out forms will be done in order to avoid technical problems and assess the success of the mission. Cost-benefit analysis. It will be evaluated the efficacy, achieving a file of each protected site that will be continuously pursued. Dissemination of information about the effectiveness of the system. After completion of system evaluation reports, it will be carried out a dissemination campaign, to try to locate as many such systems. It will be printed a leaflet in order to explain how systems work and what is the effectiveness of protection systems, but the biggest impact will be the demonstration of each case. Annexes  Table with progress of implementation of crop protection systems, farm animals or apiaries the area counties Vrancea, Covasna 20,110 during May-August 2010  Maps with location of protection systems

3.1.12 ACTION D.1: Promotion of the project, it’s objectives and results Objective: Raising awareness of the target group on project, its objectives, results and Natura 2000 concept in project area The objective is achievable according with initial project planning Expected results: Informative and promotional materials Progress: For promoting the start of the new LIFE Nature+ project in Vrancea, Covasna and

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Harghita counties, where achieved meetings with different interested institutions, at the partner’s headquarters, and as a result of these event appeared some articles in local and national massmedia, radio and TV interviews. The project secretariat offered also to local and national massmedia several press releases having as main message general promotion of the project goal and objectives. Until now there have been published 22 articles in local and national press and 7 articles on internet, referring to actions developed in this project, there have been registered 1 appearance at local TV and 4 appearances on local radio. In National Geographic no. 85, on May 2010 appeared an article wrote by Silviu Chiriac named “Bears of Romania” where there is mentioned the actual project financed by European Commission. Having in view that project promoting represent an essential condition for project activities success, until this moment there have been conceived and realized several promoting materials like leaflets achieved in RO (3000 pieces) an EN (1000 pieces) containing information about the project goal and objectives, personalised paper folders (200 pieces), being also produced plastic pens (500), T-shirts (300) and calendars (300), with LIFE, Natura 2000 and project logos. Members of awareness campaign team from EPA Vrancea has achieved the project web www.carnivoremari.ro/lifeursus (which can be accessed on the www.carnivoremari.ro domain, which contain also information about the other LIFE projects LIFE 8576 and LIFE 000170), entitled “Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in Eastern Carpathians, Romania”. The web page includes information about project actions and electronic version of materials produced until now. For assuring a good information of Vrancea population, in front of the headquarters of the main project partner institutions there were been posed presentation posters achieved in February 2010 with information about the project LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500, at the EPA Vrancea headquarter being installed a project presentation panel (A0) with the goal and objectives of the project. Problems: there where no problems Plans to continue: It will be updated the web page of the project, the English version following to be completed. The project newsletter will be achieved and produced in 100 exemplars in order to be disseminated to all project partners, institutions and target groups interested in the project activities. With this occasion they will be inform about the actual stage of the actions and activities developed. There will be released articles in local and national mass-media, press conferences for main event of the project and eventually scientific publications in national and international papers. Annexes: List of articles published in local and national press; List of TV and radio broadcasting; promotional materials 3.1.13 ACTION D.2: Install notice boards Objective: Informing the general public about the nature of the project presented in an environmentally sensitive manner Expected results: Installing 20 informative boards Progress: Until now there have been developed, produced and installed 10 panels, made in accordance with the Common Provisions concerning publicity of Community support.

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The panels contain the main data about LIFEURSUS project, its aims and objectives and all elements that promote LIFE + source program and financial support of European Commission. The panels are installed in pedestrian areas at the beneficiary and partners. Also these boards were mounted at the Center for Rehabilitation and Monitoring of Large Carnivores in Lepsa (EPA VN) and the Center for Rehabilitation of Orphaned Bear Cubs in Balan / Harghita (ANCV). Problems: No problems. Plans to continue: Another 10 informative panels will be developed and produced to be mounted in tourist areas and access points in Natura 2000 sites overlapping on project area. Annexes: Photo annex 3.1.17 ACTION D.6: Awareness campaign for promoting local traditional products of farmers and handcrafters as tool to improve coexistence with brown bears in Natura 2000 sites Objective: Changing negative attitude toward brown bear through adoption of a peaceful coexistence methods with this specie like selling their ecological and bear friendly products. The objective is achievable according with initial project planning. Expected results: Toolkit promotion of the bear friendly products, product and producer database and etiquettes for bear friendly producers. Progress: In the project implementation area there are predominant the economic activities of micro-farm type, characteristic being alimentary or industrial products made in small quantities. Generally they are produced by family members and are sold at wayside with higher traffic, local markets, close to tourist attractions objectives or with occasion of religious or traditional events. The action started with the stage of establishing areas of interest to traditional producers, through consulting the tourist maps, gathering information from project partners and identifies manufacturers associations. In this action there have been used also some information about the bear damages in the project implementation area. The project team members have made trips to areas identified as having the potential to fulfill project objectives. Crossed paths targeted localities in habitats populated by bears or related to Natura 2000 sites. So, there have been visited localities from Vrancea County: Barsesti, Naruja, Nereju, Herastrau,Nistoresti, Spulber, Tulnici, Lepsa, Gresu, Soveja; from Covasna County: Ojdula, Bretcu, Lemnia, Ghelinta, Comandau, Baraolt, Varghis, Batanii Mari, Herculian, Balvanyos, Bixad; from Harghita County: Tusnad, Sansimion, Santimbru, Sancraieni, Madaras, Danesti, Carta. In each locality there were collected information regarding some local producers, from local community members, giving them information about Natura 2000 project objectives and the importance of bear population conservation and conflict reducing methods. In localities where there are administrative territorial units, the implementation team members have made contact with local government representatives, explaining their objectives pursued by the project and soliciting their support for the identification of local producers. It was identified a number of local producers whose contacts and specific products have been each registered in database made in the project. Among the products identified are: different types of cheese, honey, syrups, cakes, ceramics of various types, cheese molds, wooden containers, wooden musical instruments, pre-Christian masks. For each registered producer there have been requested

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details of the technological process, composition, origin of raw materials and ways to mitigate the damage caused by bears in areas where they were recorded. Problems: In this phase we found a decrease in the number of manufacturers that sell mainly traditional food. From the information collected from them we understood that this is due to sanitary and hygienic requirements for production and marketing, whose standards were high. Another specific problem is increasing specific fiscality for freelancers. Plans to continue: Action will continue with achieving self-adhesive labels "bear friendly" and "product at a Natura 2000 site" which will be distributed to producers who meet the conditions necessary for such certification. Will be made a brochure to promote the products labeled with “bear-friendly” and “product at a Natura 2000 site” and distributed to manufacturers, stakeholders, retailers, supermarket and tour operator agencies. Annexes:  database of manufacturers identified  foto annex

3.1.18 ACTION E.1: Project coordination, project management and financial administration Objective: Ensuring the co-ordination of the projects activities, implementation of planned activities The objective is achievable according with initial project planning Expected results: Coordination and efficient management of the partners, correct financial administration and correlation with activity plans Progress: In the period January 1st 2010– August 31 2010, in order to ensure the coordination of the projects activities, the creation of the team for the project management was necessary. This team had the following members: Mr. Silviu Chiriac,– project manager Ms. Mariana Gheorghiu – project administrator; vacancy – financial administrator; At the first meeting of coordination team was establish the role of each member and the working frame. The project secretariat the office of project manager is located at the EPA Vrancea headquarter in Focsani. The meetings of working group were run out from every important decision. The meetings between project management equip and partners were also made in order to solve some financial or research problems. The project is coordinated by Working Group, which take decisions regarding the management actions. The decisions are taken with simple majority only in the contractual limits. The project is leaded by project manager, Mr. Silviu Chiriac, supervised by Executive Director of the EPA Vrancea. The decisions are made by the manager based on consulting of the working group and of the coordinators of the main actions. The activities work packages are coordinating by responsible for activities: 

Data base analyze, GIS, SFC- (Szabo Szilard- EPA HR)

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    

Monitoring, evaluation of conflict situations- (Ioan Mihai Pop, EPA CV) Capturing, tranquilizing, relocation- (Sandu Radu, EPA VN) Bear cub rehabilitation- (Leonardo Bereczki- ACNV) Damage reducing methods (Cosmin Stanga, ACDB) Public awareness, education activities (Nadia Ivanof Chiriac, EPA VN)

The project’s implementation is supervised by the Director Council. The Director Council insure the good implement of the project’s actions from legality point of view and insure the support by lobby activities at local, national and international level. The members of the Director Council are: 1. Gabriela Netedu –Coordinator Director, EPA HR 2. Cătălin George Morar - Coordinator Director, EPA CV 3. Adrian Colin - Coordinator Director, EPA VN 4. Cosmin Adrian Stîngă – President of ACDB 5. Leonardo Bereczky – President of ACNV Problems: EPA VN requested in the initial application for funding a job for project financial administrator but from unjustifiable reasons there were cut funds from the budget but it was maintained the organizational structure which included this item in the Project Implementation Unit. Because the entire financial management of the EPA VN is held by one person with secondary education without specialization in financial management of EU funds, to hire a person for the position of financial administrator for the project was considered absolutely necessary. Starting from 15.08.2010, after obtaining the approval letter from the National Agency for Environmental Protection, EPA VN organized a contest for the position of financial administrator of the project and beginning with 01.09.2010 this job was occupied. Funds necessary for payment of required financial administrator job (about 8500 euros for 40 months, part-time) will be allocated for staff category, by recalculating the amounts of other positions held by the contractors engaged in the EPA VN. Plans to continue: Project management will be further ensured by maintaining initially proposed organizational structure. It will follow the initial planning, the deadlines for implementing the actions being checked monthly by the project administrator. The accuracy of financial reports will be verified by the project's financial administrator during requests for payment of instalments related to partnership agreements. Annexes: Project organizational structure

3.1.20 ACTION E.3: Networking with other projects Objective: Transferring the experience and results of the project to other institutions, projects and wildlife managers involved in Ursus arctos management. Expected results: Dissemination of project results, promoting the demonstrative methods and best practices, improving the target species conservation actions by accumulation of innovative experiences used in other projects. Progress:

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In period 28.02.2010 – 02.03.2010, Mr. Silviu Chiriac from EPA VN together with Mr. Mihai Ioan Pop from EPA CV attempt at a conference kick-off type, LIFE08 Regional Kick-off Meeting, organised by European Commission and External Monitoring Team, in Bulgaria, Sofia. With this occasion it was presented the project LIFE08NAT/RO000500 “Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in Eastern Carpathians, Romania”. European Commission together with Stella Consulting and MWH organised on 12 May 2010, the LIFE + Information Session 2010. This event took place at the Litexco-Stirbei Room in Bucharest, Romania. The meeting agenda included a presentation of the most representative and successfully LIFE Natura project: LIFE05NAT/RO/000170 “Enhancing the protection system for large carnivores protection in Vrancea County” which it was presented by Silviu Chiriac as project coordinator. This session included also discussions and questions, Silviu Chiriac being also one of the moderators. In period 11-12 May 2010, at Cormos Chalet, Baraolt, Covasna County, took place” The Meeting of Working Group for Large Carnivores Conservation from Romania”. The program included presentation of the LIFEURSUS project, here being presented “Methodology for risk assessment on the bears presence in areas inhabited by humans”. Also, other problems approached were: debating the Action Plan for Bear, proposals for legislative changes and solutions for according compensations for damages made by strictly protected species. At this meeting participated Mr. Radu Sandu from EPA VN. During 16-22 May 2010, at Tbilisi, Georgia, it was developed the “19th International Conference on Bear Research and Management”. One of the main objectives of the Tbilisi conference was to promote dialogue between bear specialists of the West and the East, bringing scientists and conservationists to share their experiences, discuss and possibly plan future cooperation in the fields of bear research and management. At the session referent to “Bear movement and habitat use”, Mr. Leonardo Bereczky, Silviu Chiriac (from LIFE08NAT/RP/000500) and Ramon Jurj from ICAS Brasov presented the work entitled “A comparison of home range size, movements, habitat use and activity patterns of released orphan brown bears and wild captured brown bears in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania”. The represents of our project participated also at the Poster session with 2 posters: “Risk assessment team - a tool for human-bear conflict management in the Romanian Eastern Carpatians” (Pop Ioan Mihai and Nadia Chiriac) and “Best practices for brown bear conservation in the Carpathians south-east area” (Silviu Chiriac, Radu Mihai Sandu and Nadia Chiriac). A team formed by represents of EPA VN from LIFE+Natura project LIFE08NAT/RO 000500 attended at then training course “Implementation and management of BET – Bear Emergency Team” made in the frame of the EU LIFE+ program (project LIFE07/NAT/IT/000502 – Improving the conditions for large carnivore conservation – transfer of the best practices). The course was organised by Transilvania University of Brasov, Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering on 02 June 2010, at this meeting participating Silviu Chiriac, Radu Sandu and Nadia Chiriac. On 17 July 2010 took place a photo exposition and catalogue launching named “Vrancea lands”. These materials are the result of implementing a national program for promoting natural and cultural values Romania Student Tour. Members of our project were involved in this program, organising trips in different protected areas with photo teams from the Romania Student Tour, taking picture and putting at organizers disposure different pictures with large carnivores, especially brown bears.

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Problems: No problems encountered. Plans to continue: There will be disseminate the project results, it will be promote the demonstrative methods and best practices at national and international level and will be continued accumulation of innovative experience using other projects experience. Annexes: Photo gallery

3.2 Availability of appropriate licences and authorisations : not applicable

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3.3 Envisaged progress until next report The next report will be in September 2011 and the progress envisaged until the will be according to the project agreed calendar. Therefore, we predict all the major equipments to be purchased, all the approved feasibility studies subcontracted and completed, the first draft of the integrated database and the web portal, the web page completed and part of the materials for the promotion of the project activities.

Action

2010

Number/name Overall project schedule

1T

Creating the project’s implementing team and the Steering Committee

A2

Creating an integrated GIS database

A3

Elaboration of a strategy for implementing the raising awareness actions

A4

Analyze the bear damages

C2

C3 C4 C5

Demonstrative application of a method set for quantitative and qualitative assessment of the bear population Creation and demonstrative working of an entity which will establish the risks and necessary measures in situations created by problem bears Extending of the Animal Rescue Mobile Unit (ARMU)’s action range Reducing of juvenile mortality caused by human disturbance Lobby for adopting of a methodological guide on the

4T

1T

2T

3T

X

X

Actual

O

O

Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual

C. Concrete conservation actions : C1

3T

Proposed

A. Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or action plans : A1

2T

2011

Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed

2012 4T

1T

2T

2013 3T

4T X

1T

2T X

3T

4T X


optimal methods of assessing the brown bear population Actual

C6

C7

Implementing at the entire project level of several demonstrative crop, livestock and farm protection systems Analyze of the degradation and fragmentation level of the brown bear habitats

Proposed Actual Proposed Actual

D. Public awareness and dissemination of results : D1

Promotion of the project, it’s objectives and results

D2

Install notice boards

D3

Awareness campaign for promoting the brown bear’s conservation and conflict reduction methods

D4

D5

D6

Awareness campaign for promoting the best practices and actions necessary to protect the hibernation dens Awareness campaign for promoting the communitarian interest sites and socio-economical benefits generated by the Natura 2000 site status Awareness campaign for promoting local traditional products of farmers and handcrafters

Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual

E. Overall project operation and monitoring: E1

Project coordination, project management and financial administration

E2

Measuring the project success

E3

Networking with other projects

E4

Project audit

E5

After LIFE Conservation Plan

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Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual Proposed Actual

2


4. Financial part 4.1 Putting in place of the accounting system The partnership agreement established between coordinating beneficiary and associated beneficiaries stipulate all the financial requirements for project implementation, including the accounting system .The article 6( 6.1-6.9) has clear references on the accounting requirements providing also the project with a transfer flux of the EU amounts, the VAT eligibility and analytical accounting systems to be established at each beneficiary level. The financial departments of the projects beneficiaries implemented properly the CP’s obligations. Each associated beneficiary opened a bank account to be used for the project ( annex 4of the partnership agreement).Moreover ,the process of receiving the EU contribution ( article 6.5) it was established in such a way providing insight to all the expenditures incurred by the associated beneficiaries ,especially for timesheet and invoices form the copies ( which will be kept to the coordinating beneficiary).The system is giving the possibility to assure that each beneficiary’s contribution will still be provided accordingly, thus the EU pre-financing rules can be achieved without causing delays to project implementation activities. The coordinating beneficiary will give free assistance to the associated beneficiary in filling, in correctly all the financial forms necessary for reporting.

4.2 Continued availability of co financing The Ministry of Environment will co-finance the project activities under the responsibilities of the EPA VN, EPA CV and EPA HR. The Ministry established a new unit, the Unit for the Project Financed by the EU, and is the co-finance is directed under the EPA’s general budget, according to project financial agreement and cost incurred every year. The co-financier is and will continue to commit to co-finance the project activities as agree in the project proposal.


4.3 Costs incurred The incurred costs for the LIFE08/NAT/RO/000500 by 31.08.2010 are presented in the table below Budget breakdown categories

Total cost in €

1. Personnel

Costs incurred from the start date to 31.08.2010 in €

% of total costs

140.705

17.269

12.27%

2. Travel and subsistence

50.700

10.861

21.42%

3. External assistance

69.245

7.599

10.97%

3.500

3.363

96.09%

Equipment

145.000

34.506

23.80%

Prototype

0

4. Durable goods Infrastructure

0

5. Land purchase / long-term lease 6. Consumables

35.270

10.515

29.81%

7. Other Costs 8. Overheads

36.950

4.030

10.91%

33.696

6.150

18.25%

515.066

94.293

18.31%

TOTAL

Action number and name Action A.1: Creating the project’s implementing team and the Steering Committee Action A.2: Creating an integrated GIS database to support and demonstrate conservation actions of the project Action A.3: Elaboration of a strategy for implementing the raising awareness actions, based on the assessment of the local people’s perception of the target specie in the Natura 2000 site’s ecological network

Action A.4: Analyze the bear damages at the entire project’s area level in order to establish the protection system’s implementing sites Action C.1: Demonstrative application of a method set for quantitative and qualitative assessment of the bear population in areas strictly demarcated and administrated from game management point of view Action C.2: Creation and demonstrative working at the entire project’s area level of an entity which will establish the risks and necessary measures in situations created by problem bears

Foreseen costs

Spent so far

Remaining

Projected final cost

1.700

1.737

-37.00

1.737

22.800

47

22.753

22.800

2.500

923

1.577

2.500

8.200

2.450

5.750

8.200

92.800

23.598

69.202

92.800

57.800

6.079

51.721

57.800

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Action C.3: Extending of the Animal Rescue Mobile Unit (ARMU)’s action range at the entire level of the project area and insuring of rapid interventions for capturing, relocating and monitoring of problem bears Action C.4: Reducing of juvenile mortality caused by human disturbance with the protection of hibernation dens in the cub nourishing period Action C5: Lobby for adopting by the Environmental Ministry (MM) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MADR) of a methodological guide on the optimal methods of assessing the brown bear population Action C.6: Implementing at the entire project level of several demonstrative crop, livestock and farm protection systems by using repelent equippment and substances

48.430

16.352

32.078

48.430

39.900

3.171

36.729

39.900

2.500

0

2.500

2.500

52.600

11.914

40.686

52.600

7.100

1.418

5.682

7.100

22.500

7.288

15.212

22.500

2.690

274

2.416

2.690

19.780

0

19.780

19.780

7.200

1.124

6.076

7.200

13.500

790

12.710

13.500

9.495

0

9.495

9.495

30.875

4.107

26.768

30.875

29.000

4.698

24.302

29.000

Action E.3: Networking with other projects

6.800

2.173

4.627

6.800

Action E.4: Project audit

3.200

0

3.200

3.200

0

0

0

0

481.370

88.143

393.227

481.370

Action C.7: Analyze of the degradation and fragmentation level of the brown bear habitats Action D.1: Promotion of the project, it’s objectives and results Action D.2: Install notice boards Action D.3: Awareness campaign for promoting the brown bear’s conservation and conflict reduction methods Action D.4: Awareness campaign in order to promote the best practices and actions necessary to protect the hibernation dens and diminishing the causes which lead at the cub’s abandon Action D.5: Awareness campaign for promoting the communitarian interest sites, designated for large carnivore conservation, and for promoting the socioeconomical benefits generated by the Natura 2000 site status Action D.6: Awareness campaign for promoting local traditional products of farmers and handcrafters as tool to improve coexistence with brown bears in Natura 2000 sites Action E.1: Project coordination, project management and financial administration Action E.2: Measuring the project success

Action E.5: After LIFE Conservation Plan TOTAL

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5. Annexes 5.1 Partnership agreements 5.2 Deliverables Name or no of reference action

Deadline

A1

May 2010

Date of completion March 2010

A3

August 2010

August 2010

A4

July 2010

July 2010

C6

May- October 2010

C1

Annually between May - October July 2010

C2

March 2010

March 2010

C3

March 2010

April 2010

Protocols of meeting for lobby action

C5

July 2010

July 2010

Poster A0 for the project’s promotion.

D1

February 2010

February 2010

Project manager and project staff nominated (Project start up process completed)

E1

February 2010

January 2010

Name or no of reference action

Deadline

Meeting with the partners, signing of the contracts Creation of the GIS data base

A1

February 2010

Date of completion January 2010

A2

May 2010

On going

Creation of the Risk Assessment Team - RAT

C2

February 2010

February 2010

C3

March 2010

March 2010

Deliverable Report of the first meeting of the partners, creation of the Working Group and Director Comity Application of the surveys regarding the perception of the local people on the target specie and Natura 2000 sites Elaboration of a guide for the implementation of the protection systems in order to reduce damages. Annually implementation of the protection systems. Spatial and time planning of the demonstrative activities for bear population level assessment in the game management areas. Methodology for analyze the risk situations by RAT. Organizing the training stage of ARMU

Milestone

Insuring the functionality of the Animal Rescue Mobil Unit - ARMU

July 2010

5.3 Maps, drawings, technical designs, technical memos etc. as appropriate 5.4 List with activities annexes 1. Methodology for risk assessment on the bears presence in areas inhabited by humans Inception report LIFE08 NAT/RO/000500 LIFE URSUS

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Methodology “Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in Eastern Carpathians, Romania" contains the following chapters: I.

II.

III. IV.

V.

General information 1. Context 2. Aspects of bear biology (in accordance of ARMU Methodology) 3. Aspects of brown bear ethology RAT procedure 1. Modalities for obtaining the information/ intimation 2. Preliminary analyse 3. RAT convocation 4. Assessment and monitoring 4.1 Complementary analyse 4.2 Effective monitoring of the area 5. Conclusions of monitoring 6. Actions post-monitoring 6.1 Area monitoring 6.2 Implementation of some protection measures 6.3 Capturing/relocation/monitoring 6.4 Harvesting Risk assessment criteria Institutional communication procedure 1. List of institutions having responsibilities 2. Manner of communication the information 3. Manner of files archiving Annexes

2. Methodology for implementing the protection systems of crops, livestock and apiaries for reducing the damages produced by bears The methodology was made by Silviu Chiriac, Gelu Radu and Radu Mihai Sandu from EPA VN and Ioan Mihai Pop from EPA CV, being completed in September 2010 in the following format: Introduction General context  Human-bears conflicts  Where bears are producing damages?  Level of damages  Elements which favours producing damages Methods for reducing damages produced by bears  Electrical fences  Audio-visual removal systems  Repellent substances  Security dogs  Aversive conditioning Prevention of bears habituation and producing of damages  Choosing the placement for a new crop/farm  Management of areas near crop/farm  Primary collection of household waste

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A bear in our courtyard! What can we do? Institutions and organisations involved in activities of reducing damages made by bears Do you consider that your household or farm is put in danger? Who can help you? National legislative context

3. The web page The web page, entitled “LIFEURSUS project” is structured as follow:  First page  Project LIFEURSUS (RO and EN)  Funders  Goal  Objectives  Results  Project areas  Beneficiary and partners  GIS Data base  Practices and demonstrative action o Method of optimal assessment of brown bears population o RAT – Risk assessment team o ARMU – Animal Rescue Mobile Unit o Reducing juvenile mortalities and active dens monitoring o System for reducing damages produced by bears o Fragmentation analyse  Awareness campaign o Promoting the methods of brown bear conservation and conflict reducing o Promoting the best practices and action necessary for den protection in winter time o Promoting communitarian interest sites o Promoting traditional products in Natura 2000 sites  Reports and products  About LIFEURSUS  News  Photo gallery  Contact 5.6 List with project articles in LIFEURSUS

List of articles published in local and national press      

Bears will have lawyers and web cameras into the den, Adevarul de Seara, 18 January 2010; Project for bears protection, Monitorul de Vrancea, 20 January 2010; Project with European financing for large carnivores conservation, Ziarul de Vrancea, 20 January 2010; Project for brown bears protection, www.antenasatelor.ro, 20 January 2010; New project for brown bear protection, www.miercureaciucinfo.com, 31 January 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, IASI INVEST, 29 January 2010;

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                       

Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, Coalitia ONG Natura 2000 din Romania, 30 January 2010; Peaceful coexistence with bears, Udvarhelyi Hirado, 27 January 2010; For peacefully coexistence of bear with local population, Csiki Hirlap, 28 January 2010; Project for brown bear protection, Informatia Harghitei, 27 January 2010; Three counties are involved in bears conservation , Observatorul de Covasna ,28 January, 2010; Project for bears protection, www.fabricadebani.ro, 29 January 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, www.impactnews.ro; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, Financiarul, 29 January 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, Mediatica.stiri, 30 January 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, Monitorul de Vrancea, 30 January 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, www.infoportal.ro, 01 February 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, www.stopco2.ro, 01 February 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, Replica, 1 February 2010; Medvek ellen allitananak keritest, Szekely Hirmondo, 09 February, 2010; Practical lessons for nature protection, Monitorul de Vrancea – 04 March 2010; Important project for bears protection, www.ziare.com/miercurea-ciuc, 19 March 2010; Important project for bears protection released in Miercurea Ciuc, Agerpres, 19 March 2010; Important project for bears protection in Harghita County, Informatia Harghitei, 23 March 2010; The country of bears, National Geographic, August 2010; Project for bears protecting from Vrancea Mountains, Ziarul de Vrancea, 14 April 2010; Project for bears protection in Harghita, Covasna and Vrancea, Revista Romana de Administratie Publica Locala, April 2010; Carpathian bear, victim of hectare exceeding, Green Report, July-August 2010; Optimal effective of bears – specialists with different opinion, Csiki Hirlap, 28 July 2010; Bears from Vrancea in attention of EPA VN, Monitorul de Vrancea, 30 August 2010.

List of TV and radio broadcasting 28.01.2010 - Duna TV - „Interview with Szabo Szilard and Both J. about LIFEURSUS project„ 25.01.2010 - Radio VOX - „LIFE project for peacefully coexistence of bear with local population„ 26.01.2010 – Radio Iasi – „Best practices and demonstrative actions for conservation of Ursus arctos species in Eastern Carpathians, Romania” 30.03.2010 – Radio DADA –„Another environmental project developed in Vrancea” 12.04.2010 – Radio DADA - „Brown bear in Vrancea in attention of EPA VN”

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Inception report LIFEURSUS