By Douglas Williams, Publisher

We live in very strange times, uncertain and scary. Most of this mag was put together way before the situation had become what it is now, who knows what it will be by the time you read this. Be safe and healthy folks. The OZB team wishes the planet a speedy recovery.

Coming back from the northeast of Romania late last year, crossing mile after mile of flat arable land, I was struck by just how many birds of prey there were. On fence posts, in trees, in the sky, in the fields  – it seemed that there were more hawks than just about any other type of bird. More recently I was up in Predeal where there is a real issue with bears which have scared a good few people. In these pages we’ve reported upon the success of the re-introduction of the bison who are now thriving out west and those who haven’t watched the Netflix film “Untamed Romania” are in for a real treat. From the Delta to the mountains and from pelicans to salamanders, lynx, bears, boar and deer, Romania is uniquely blessed when it comes to natural history and wildlife.

I return to the birds of prey because ecologically speaking these are the “canary species” in that they are clear indicators of the general health of the natural environment. And what the Romanian birds of prey say, loud and clear, is that the natural environment here is in robust good health. Across the world, the numbers of even previously common species may be in free fall but here they are holding up strong. It’s a strong testament to the Romanian people that they’ve built a country where creatures and people can successfully live together and it’s contrary to much of the rest of the world. Such is this richness that, as you can read within these pages, Romanian lynx are being relocated to other areas of Europe where populations of this exquisite creature are endangered. And this is real richness, a richness that, I predict, the enlightened societies of the future will value above all else.   

On top of that this country is blessed with a climate that is very conducive to agriculture with thousands of hectares of deep black loam. There’s a solid water supply, serious droughts, extreme, harmful weather conditions, are rare and there are also thousands of hectares of forest. There’s even oil so there’s very little that Romania cannot provide for Romanians. An independence of spirit, of mind, can also be matched by practical independence from an increasingly dependent and complex, globalised world. Romania is unique in many aspects. This was a large part of what I hoped to say with OZB – Romania is amazing, it’s special, when viewed in the right way. Of course there are flaws, problems, but where isn’t there.

So this will likely be the last issue of OZB in this current format. Some key commercial changes mean that we cannot continue as we have been and we need to regroup and rethink in order to move forward. It’s not as I would have wished but predictable nonetheless – print is a tough business right now. You will see over we are launching a campaign to raise funds so that we can go on “celebrating Romania”, bringing the best of Romania to you, dear reader, with great stories and photography every month. Please help us. 

O zi buna             

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

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