Romania will host a Centre of Excellence for Environmental Protection under the coordination of the National Defence Ministry and the Environment Ministry, and the authorities want this entity to be accredited and affiliated to NATO.
The announcement was made on Friday by Environment Minister Gratiela Gavrilescu and National Defence Minister Mihai Fifor in a joint press conference.
“Together with the Environment Ministry, we take on this new project. Many of you are probably wondering what does the National Defence Ministry has to do with this environmental protection area and why the National Defence Ministry is involved. The answer is very simple: taking on the Presidency role in the coming period on an important area, including the environmental protection, means a lot to the National Defence Ministry. The establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Protection comes in this context, a centre of excellence which we shall design and develop for now on at national level, and then, based on the principle on which we can draw a note of affiliation to NATO, we can have a NATO Centre of Excellence on Environmental Protection. This is something that I believe can only position Romania even better on the map of NATO Centres of Excellence. May I remind you that, at present, Romania hosts such a Centre of Excellence in Oradea. We plan that, in the coming period, we carry out a series of activities meant to lead to rethinking the strategy for the environmental protection from the National Defence Ministry perspective as well. Our target is that to affiliate this Centre of Excellence to NATO,” the National Defence Minister said.
In her turn, Environment Minister Gratiela Gavrilescu mentioned that the new Centre of Excellence for the Environmental Protection will receive funding from the Administration of the Environmental Fund (AFM).
“I feel that the country which I live in is a safe country, which isn’t on the map of Europe and the world by chance. The proof is that, this Centennial year, today, together with the colleagues from the National Defence Ministry, we want the implementation of this National Centre of Excellence on Environmental Protection. The Environment Ministry and the National Defence Ministry, as well as the entire PSD-ALDE Government of Romania, are taking a very good look at the manner which Romanians live in and we wish that, by implementing all national, European and international norms for environmental protection, we can live in a clean, healthy environment, and, this way, all efforts we make is that the future generations can truly be healthy generations from all points of view. The Environment Ministry, through the efforts it makes, is looking after the preservation of the biodiversity. We are implementing measures on the quality of air, we are carefully watching what happens to the waste in Romania and we are concerned to turn on the engines of the entire recycling industry in Romania. Last but not least, we are taking a look at the climate change effects. We manage in a Centennial Year to put together the basis for this Centre of Excellence on Environmental Protection, and, this way we prove to all EU countries that Romania, as a member state with equal rights and as a NATO member state, manages and wants to observe all commitments and make all efforts. This Centre will be funded from the Administration of the Environmental Fund,” Gavrilescu said.
The Centre of Excellence for the Environmental Protection will operate in Bucharest and the official opening is scheduled for November 29, 2018.
The funding value is round 1.5 million euro, an amount spread over several years. The final calendar of spreading the budget will be established after the budget revision announced for the end of July this year.
Those who throw waste in inappropriate places should pay high fines
Those who throw waste in inappropriate places have to pay very high fines and, following the monitoring of the current situation, we will bring legislative amendments in this respect, Minister of Environment Gratiela Gavrilescu stated, when referring to the situation in which a very large quantity of PET reached reservoirs, being carried by the water drained from the slopes.
“The reservoirs don’t belong to the Environment Ministry. The Environment Ministry has control only over all those who breach the law, who throw PETs either on the riverbed or in the forests. The measures have been taken ever since 2015, when we amended the Picnic Law, when we implemented that all of our tourism actions be regulated and the sanctions amended. Just this week we issued a ministerial order through which, my colleagues with the National Environmental Guard and the National Environmental Protection Agency, together with the Control Directorate of the Environment Ministry, toured the country in order to see precisely the places where, after the floods, such wastes were collected that have been thrown by people in trouble with the law, so that we find certain measures, including legislative amendments to tighten, when appropriate, these sanctions. Those who breach the law must pay very high fines!,” Gavrilescu stated.