We are always happy when environmentalists respond positively to our invitations. This week we meet Mr. Dan Bărbulescu, director and founding member of the Văcărești Natural Park Association. He holds a degree in history (University of Bucharest), a master's degree in public policy (University of London) and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Bucharest with a thesis on ecosystem services offered by urban green spaces.
Mr. Dan Bărbulescu coordinated numerous projects dedicated to biodiversity, environmental protection, sustainable development of the Danube Delta and Văcărești Natural Park
What does Mr. Bărbulescu regarding the period spent in isolation:
ECOLOGICAL:What activities did you carry out during this period spent at home?
Dan Bărbulescu: The program has changed a lot due to the pandemic. Most of the time I worked from home. I cleaned the box of my apartment and from there, I worked with the necessary peace to retire 3-4 hours a day in order to solve the urgent issues at the office and at school. Weekly, with my colleagues from Asoc. Văcărești Natural Park, I went to the park for monitoring and observations. But the field activities suffered the most. And I am referring in particular to educational and visiting activities involving groups of visitors and children. During the School Otherwise (March - April) we had to cancel over 30 groups of students.
ECOTIC: What do you think were the benefits for the environment during this period?
Dan Barbulescu: We have seen the benefits with our own eyes. We felt them in the cleaner air, in the song of the birds closer to our windows, in the wild animals that ventured more into the cities. I understood a truth that we knew but had not really felt, "an uncomfortable truth" - Man is an aggressor of ecosystems. The impact of his presence is growing and negative. The lack of man gave wild nature a breath of fresh air.
ECOTIC: How did this period impact you? Personally, but also professionally.
Dan Barbulescu: It made me think more about myself, what I do, my daily work. It brought me very close to my family, it brought me down to seemingly prosaic and trivial issues in the past, but so important - family, daily schedule, hygiene, cooking, reading. I noticed more of the surrounding nature. I understood better the value of a tree on the street, the joy that the song of a seemingly banal bird like the sparrow offers you. I missed the parks and I understood how important they are in the life of the city. Our lives have changed a lot, and this perspective has given us some shivers.
ECOTIC: Have you decided to change something in your daily work, related to environmental protection?
Dan Barbulescu: Here I decided to compost the vegetable waste. Along with the packaging, which we have been collecting separately for a long time, the vegetable waste weighs quite a lot, so this made the family's trash can a lot easier. I changed something else. We have become more virulent with the lack of interest of the public authority towards our health, towards the health of green spaces, of nature. Those who lead Bucharest do not give a damn about these essential issues. I see that other people have understood this and I hope that the new leaderships that will be established after September 27 will understand that the profile of a city has many more colors, all equally important.
We thank Mr. Dan Bărbulescu for the time given and the shared thoughts.