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Iohannis: I will grant my protection and high patronage to Vacaresti National Park

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On Thursday, Earth Day, President Klaus Iohannis visited the Vacaresti Natural Park, a wetland area within the limits of Bucharest City, saying that he would extend his protection and high patronage to the park, and that a working group would be set up for the development of the area, agerpres.ro confirms.

"I came today because today is Earth Day and I thought a visit to the Vacaresti Natural Park is exactly right for this Earth Day. I don't think I'm telling a secret if I say that the Earth needs a lot of protection and that involves countless things. This area has appeared rather by chance: it was discovered by some enthusiasts who set up an association and I take this opportunity to congratulate those enthusiasts I met here today and the other members of the association, the rangers I talked to, because they take care of this area; it has become a very well-known area in the whole country. The Vacaresti Natural Park is a wild park; it is an area where anyone who wants to get in touch with nature can do it very easily. Wild parks have existed for a long time in many cities in the world. Ours are still little explored areas and, therefore, I am glad that the example of the Vacaresti Natural Park goes further," he said after the visit.

He mentioned that there is an interest of several cities in setting up such parks, adding that he will extend his protection to the Vacaresti National Park to emphasise its importance.

"In order to emphasise the importance of such a park, of this park and of the concept, I will extend my protection and high patronage to this park. I hope that the example will be a positive one and that we will have increasingly more green areas of such quasi-wild type. Virtually in all big cities in Romania there is a deficit of green areas; we have innumerable blocks, concrete alleys, and very few green areas and in the last decades it has been studied and found that they are vital for a balanced community. In that regard, I have discussed with the minister, together with the association, with those interested here, I think we need to step in little bit in the legislation, we need to pay more attention to this area and I think everyone realises that this is in fact a small part of the attention we need to pay to the environment and nature so that we all live in a more pleasant and healthier area that is also better for future generations," the head of state added.

Iohannis went on to say that a working group will be set up for the development of this area.

"In my opinion, a working group is needed and already, I have agreed with the minister to set up this working group, to take a look, to modernise the legislation in the field. Because my opinion is that it was wrong when in 2018 NGOs were taken out of protected areas, because the associations are the ones who come up with the most interested people and the most eager to get involved in projects from which they do not earn anything. So, it is a civic involvement of a very, very good and important quality. On the other hand, we have the state bodies that must be aware that they have a role to play here, including in securing funding. Nothing is maintained on its own. This area must be protected. (...) Together with the minister, we will make sure that this working group will manage a modernisation of the legislation and create the specific tools to intervene concretely and positively in these areas of urban natural parks," added Iohannis.

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