ROSIA MONTANA: EUROPA NOSTRA WRITES TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT OF ROMANIA
At the Europa Nostra’s Annual Congress, including a public Forum on “Saving Europe’s Endangered Heritage”, which was held in Lisbon, Europa Nostra members expressed, once again, their deep concern regarding the Rosia Montana open ore mining project and the major threats it represents for the unique cultural heritage, as well as for the natural landscape and the environment of the entire area of Rosia Montana. Following this Congress, Europa Nostra sent a letter to the new Prime Minister of Romania, Mr Victor Ponta, conveying to him our members’ concerns. Europa Nostra received a response from the Minister of Environment and Forests, Rovana Plumb.
Europa Nostra strongly encourages the new Romanian Government to undertake - as already announced - a thorough re-examination of the RMGC project and its impact on the cultural and natural environment and heritage of Rosia Montana.
Europa Nostra also re-iterates its recommendation that Rosia Montana, with its outstanding archaeological heritage, is included in Romania’s Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites and that the relevant application is forwarded to the UNESCO bodies concerned. This recommendation has already been supported at national level by the Romanian Commission on Historic Monuments and the Romanian Academy, and also at national level by Europa Nostra and ICOMOS International.
In its letter to the Romanian Prime Minister, Europa Nostra also refers to the proposals for an alternative development for the area which have been discussed and which could be implemented - should the Romanian government decide in their favour - with the help of the European Union structural funds earmarked for Romania. These proposals seek to demonstrate that a long term investment in heritage represents an important element of any sustainable development programme. Europa Nostra therefore encourages the Romanian Government to examine very carefully those proposals before taking a final decision on the open cast gold-mining project.
As the pan-European federation of heritage organisations whose aim is to protect and preserve Europe's common cultural and natural heritage, Europa Nostra considers that the case of Rosia Montana’s endangered heritage is an issue of major importance and relevance for Europe as a whole.
Rovana Plumb, the Romanian Minister of Environmnet and Forests, replied to our letter that the proposed mining project in Rosia Montana is currently undergoing an environmental impact assessment. She also suggested that the Romanian government wishes to ensure the highest possible level of environment and heritage protection in the area, in accordance with relevant national and European policies and laws.