The autumn in Romania started with nice weather and a good opportunity for getting in touch with the Danube Delta local community. In September, WWF team that is implementing Rewilding Europe initiative in Romania, took part in Rowmania Rowing Boats Festival in Tulcea.
The goal of the event is to promote eco-tourism: traditional, slow cooked meals, accommodation within the local community, zero-impact transport, rowing boats and local culture preservation – so plenty of reason for Rewilding Europe to be on the boat! Multiple canoe champion Ivan Patzaichin, who was born in Crisan, on Sulina branch, initiated the festival.
The festival was a meeting point for communities and NGOs working in the area, through all sorts of interesting activities. WWF participated in the rowing boats competition on Lake Ciuperca, competing against teams of journalists, partner companies and other NGO members.
The main focus was the Sustainable Projects Fair, which gave NGOs the chance to present their present and future activities to locals. Rewilding Europe strongly believes in the grass-root communication, so we value highly every chance to meet local people, to listen to their dreams and concerns, and hopefully to suggest a few solutions. During two days, WWF team members talked with people about Rewilding Europe, its visions and goals, gathered feedback on projects, gained awareness and credibility within the community and fostered its relationships with important actors.
Another highlight of the festival was the debate on sustainable development in the delta, which brought together the most relevant actors in the area: Tulcea County Council, DDBR, WWF, UNDP, REA (Romanian Ecotourism Association) and other organisations, both national and international.
In a nutshell, the festival was a success and visitors were very happy with the chance to connect with each other and different organisations. Once they got a glimpse of what can be achieved in the Danube Delta, they were both willing to cooperate and bring ideas to the table. Good sign for our future rewilding work in the area!