Among many other wonders of nature, Romania has been blessed with Danube Delta, the second largest river delta in Europe and the best preserved on the continent. The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve actually has the third largest biodiversity count in the World with over 5,500 flora and fauna species. Preservation of such treasure of nature is a great responsibility and Romania has been honoring it since the beginning of the 20th century when academician Grigore Antipa, founder of the Romanian school of ecology, hydrobiology, histology and oceanography, established the first hydrobiological station in 1926.
In pursuance of bringing together the fundamental and applied research for scientific support of the management of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve and other wetland areas, with particular focus on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, Romania has founded in 1970 the Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development (DDNI). Leading researcher, licensed in ecology and PhD at “Ovidius” University from Constanța, General Manager Marian Tudor has been with the Institute since 1995 and since 1997 is leading the ecological restoration team: „We are pioneers in restoring damaged areas, it’s the flagship of our activity. We restored some 17 thousand hectares of land that was turned into arable land during communism and now we are returning it to nature. It’s the largest restored area in Europe and potentially in the world”.
TRADITION AND GREAT EXPERTISE TO BENEFIT BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
DDNI’s outstanding results could not have passed unnoticed thus international recognition includes awards in cartography, Eurosite Award, WWF Conservation Merit Award handed by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for ecological restoration of the wetlands. Thanks to its expertise and contribution to the national and international research and development programmes, DDNI has been nominated as: Centre of Excellence for Deltas & Wetlands; National Reference Centre for Land Cover and Fisheries; Main Scientific Advisor for the implementation of the NATURA 2000 Network in Romania; national focal point for CORINE Land Cover among others.
All of the above has been achieved thanks to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and highly skilled staff working on key research domains structured on distinct departments: Biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources; Ecological restoration and species recovery; Informational system and geomatics; Center for the study of transborder and emergent diseases and zoonoses; Laboratories and research stations; “Danube Delta” technological information center; Technological development, transfer and spatial planning.
In conclusion, Dr Marian Tudor invites funding institutions, research organizations, universities to join DDNI in their efforts to preserve the vital biodiversity of Delta Danube: “The importance of Danube Delta area is well known at European and world wide level, however it’s not enough. We shouldn’t forget about the threats which are still there despite the triple status of protection. Romania should not be the only one carrying the expenses and the duties for protection and preservation of this site of global importance. What would be wise for Europe to do would be to open a call for research for Danube Delta as they did for Danube strategy (transnational Danube), a dedicated call for all the countries to come and do research here, to identify problems and find solutions together”.
“DANUBE DELTA” NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Headquarter: 165 Babadag street, Tulcea 820112, Romania
Phone (Secretary Office): (+4) 0240 – 531 520
Alternative phone numbers: (+4) 0240 – 524 546 / 524 548 / 524 550
Fax: (+4) 0240 – 533 547
Web site: www.ddni.ro