Dr. Elena Mateescu, the NMA’s Executive Director
Dr. Elena Mateescu, the NMA’s Executive Director

The National Meteorological Administration aims to play a crucial role in helping Romania meet the challenges of the 21st century, particularly climate change impacts. As Dr. Elena Mateescu, the NMA’s Executive Director, explains, “In the context of climate change, the best way to find the most appropriate prevention measures is meteorological activity directed towards observing, monitoring and forecasting extreme events, including droughts, floods and heat waves, in order to develop appropriate strategies and adaptation plans.” The NMA’s work will lead to better risk management and a choice of clear options for decision-makers seeking solutions to climate-change issues and weather-related crises.

Ambitious Orientgate climate-change initiative

The NMA places a high priority on linking its efforts with those of other leading authorities throughout the region, and the Administration was a major player in the ambitious Orientgate initiative (2011-2014), budgeted at €4.8 million and co-financed by the EU. Orientgate was part of the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme and was headed by the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change in Italy. It involved 33 partners from throughout the region.

The Orientgate project’s goals were to foster the integration of climate change in territorial planning and development; coordinate climate-change adaptation efforts in South Eastern Europe; and connect climate-change policy-planners and decision-makers with the communities that produce climate knowledge. The project’s overall mission was to protect and improve the environment through preventing environmental risks.

Orientgate involved six major pilot projects, and one of them was a study of climate-change adaptation measures in Romanian agriculture. The project, which analyzed the impact of climate change on agricultural areas in Caracal and Covasna, was led by the NMA in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency of Covasna.

Helping decision-makers make the right choices

Through its on-going work in Romania and its participation in international projects like Orientgate, the NMA will continue to fulfil its mission of finding solutions to evolving meteorological challenges. Dr. Elena Mateescu concludes, “It is essential that decision-makers and societies be prepared to act appropriately in response to weather forecasts and warnings. Therefore, national meteorological services must be the official authoritative source and a ‘single voice’ on weather warnings and climate predictions, in order to reduce and mitigate natural disasters. Through accurate weather forecasts and warnings, the government and people can be protected against severe environmental risks.”