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New UK movie on unspoiled mountain wilderness has charmed Romanians - but Greens say the natural wonders will be ruined if the country doesn't do more to guard its environment.
A Romanian newspaper called it “the most wonderful movie ever made about Romania”. The 60-minute film, “Wild Carpathia”, which was recently broadcasted by Travel Channel UK, presents breathtaking but little known mountains and forests in the Carpathian mountains.
"Home to bears, wolves and the elusive lynx, this is perhaps the last great wilderness in Europe, seen as never before," according to Travel Channel.
In his quest to find remote villages, cross mountains and spot bears in the wild, producer Charlie Ottley meets a range of colourful characters including shepherds, artists, eco-warriors, craftsmen, trackers, even a Count.
Ottley also meets the British heir to the throne, Prince Charles, to find out why he has a special interest in the area.
The Prince of Wales, who owns several restored properties in Transylvania, jokes that as a descendent of Vlad the Impaler, he has “a bit of a stake in the country”.
Romania’s biodiversity awed producer Ottley who has already announced plans for a new documentary, which will include members of the cast of "Cold Mountain", the film shot almost ten years ago in Romania, starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger.
The producer also intends to develop a Facebook game, similar to Farmville, with the theme of conserving Romania's forests, according to media reports.
While all Romanians hail the film's promotion of Transylvania as a possible tourist destination, local Greens say the authorities have to take more action to preserve this precious environment.
“We are lucky to have these lands. But also there is an urgent need for creating sustainable opportunities in rural areas across Transylvania, rather than senseless exploitations of forest and mineral resources,” Magor Csibi, from WWF Romania, said.
The Carpathians are among the last remaining unspoilt environments in Europe. The mountains are home to more than 1,200 plant species, but also to many animal species long driven out of other areas of Europe by industrialisation and modern life, such as as brown bear, lynx and the wolf. Its 2,500-metre-high peaks are also home to rare eagles and many other wild birds.
Romania still has large forests in and beyond the Carpathians. It is home to about 65 per cent of the virgin forests still remaining in Europe, outside Russia.
They are mainly situated in the mountainous Carpathian region, but only 20 per cent of these old forests are protected by law by being included in national parks.
While the law in Romania says all virgin forest should be included in national and nature parks, in reality it does not happen. Partly this is because much of this forestry is situated in inaccessible valleys or on high mountains slopes which aren't in the parks.
“Wild Carpathia” movie is available here:
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