Romanian : Delta Dunării
The Danube Delta is located in the South-Eastern part of Europe, at the end of the Danube river which has a hydrographic basin of 817,700 km2 (representing 8% of the continent). The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania (Tulcea county), while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine (Odessa Oblast). The Danube branches into three main distributaries into the delta, Chilia, Sulina, and Sfântul Gheorghe. At the mouths of each channel gradual formation of new land takes place, as the delta continues to expand.
The Danube Delta falls within east European steppe ecosystem, with Mediterranean influences. As a young region in full process of consolidation, the Danube Delta represents a very favourable place for the development of highly diverse flora and fauna, unique in Europe, with numerous rare species. It hosts 23 natural ecosystems and 7 antropic ecosystems, but due to the extent of wetlands the aquatic environment is prevalent; the terrestrial environment is also present on the higher grounds of the continental levees, where xerophile ecosystems have developed. Situated on major migratory routes, and providing adequate conditions for nesting and hatching, the Danube Delta is a magnet for birds from six major eco-regions of the world, including the Mongolian, Arctic and Siberian. There are over 320 species of birds found in the delta during summer, of which 166 are hatching species and 159 are migratory. Over one million individuals (swans, wild ducks, bald coots, etc.) winter here. Due to its high natural and cultural value, Danube Delta (and Razim – Sinoe Lagoon complex) has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1990.
Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is a Romania/Ukraine cross-border Biosphere Reserve. There is a strong cooperation between the aministrations of the two Bisophere Reserves (Danube Delta Biopshere Authority in Tulcea, Romania and Danube Plavni Reserve Authority in Odessa, Ukraine) as well as between the research institutes and organisations in the frame of common approaches and joint researches in support of better management of the cross border Biosphere Reserve.
Main environmental challenges in Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
The European Deltas are facing the same issues as the European straits: reconciling balance between the economic activities and the environmental management. In the mean time, both areas are dealing with faster economic growth while large parts of them are included in Natura 2000 network. The participation of DDNI (as the main scientific advisor for the management of the DDBR) in NOSTRA project is relevant due to its involvement in DELTANET project (Network of European Delta Regions – Sustainable Delta Governance) and can benefit from the cross-border cooperation dimension given by straits. DDNI expects to exchange experience and best practices regarding the common approach of the sustainable governance of sensitive areas like straits and deltas and of the cross-border cooperation in order to achieve the sustainable management objectives.
Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development/ Institutul National de Cercetare Dezvoltare Delta Dunarii
DDNI is a local governmental research body aiming to provide support for the Ministry of Environment and Forests in the implementation of European Directives for management of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (DDBRA). DDNI has as fields of expertise: monitoring of biodiversity, assessment of the environmental conditions and reduction of human impact, restoration of damaged ecosystems, sustainable use of natural resources.
As a non strait bordering partner, DDNI has to offer experience in assessing the biodiversity, the preservation of natural heritage and a multi stakeholder environment to learn from.