Preservation of natural values along the cross-border area of Satu Mare and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties

Cătălina-Maria BÂTEA


The present study aims at emphasizing the importance of cross-border cooperation in protecting the natural values along the Romanian-Hungarian border and the way in which these resources can be exploited for tourism. The analysed area comprises the two adjacent counties of Satu Mare and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, with focus on the rich natural heritage and the shared effort made in order to ensure its conservation. The anthropic activities (agriculture, development of settlements, infrastructure investment) have gradually led to habitat reduction, having a negative impact on biodiversity. The Natura 2000 network, initiated by the European Union, is a program launched with the objective to preserve natural habitat, plant species and wildlife in a unitary system. A number of ten Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas for birds, Special Areas of Conservation and Sites of Community Importance) are located in the cross-border region of Satu Mare and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties. In the present case, a study upon the natural values of the area cannot be limited by borderline. Moreover, a cross-border approach is being preferred in order to highlight the sites of special interest, the necessity to elaborate and implement joined strategies. Natural values can become a part of the touristic offer but only to a certain extent, according to which only those forms of tourism should be developed which have a less impact on the environment, namely the practice of sustainable tourism, with emphasis on ecotourism. This type becomes viable in the context of a stricter organization of the tourist flow, the existence of a process with informative and training role for visitors regarding the importance of preserving biodiversity. To conclude, the paper draws attention to the fact that recreational activities can be developed in special protection areas provided that the sustainable aspect is always kept in sight


cross-border area, biodiversity, sustainable tourism, ecotourism

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