CCMESI – A Unique Platform for Young Geographers Passionate about Deciphering the Environment
Three decades have passed since the establishment of the Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies (CCMESI), the first research center at the University of Bucharest. CCMESI emerged in response to society’s need to train responsible specialists capable of promoting appropriate and tailored methods for deciphering environmental internalities and externalities. It aimed to consciously address the new challenges of society and support the transition to a sustainable and resilient environment.
These three decades began with modest research activities that have multiplied and diversified with great perseverance and seriousness. The over 50 members, as well as the over 200 volunteer students (including undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students), have created a substantial reserve of specialists in the field of environmental research. They have significantly contributed to the progress of Romanian geography at both national and international levels. This achievement was made possible through constant investments in research infrastructure (especially the Species and Habitats Monitoring Center in Eșelnița, Mehedinți county, and numerous integrated environmental assessment tools), the development of young talents (including scholarships at prestigious international universities and research institutes), and the connection to national and international research networks (especially in France, the United States, Germany, and Switzerland).
CCMESI has addressed European, national, regional, county, and local environmental issues, providing sustainable solutions for the protection and conservation of the environment. Some of these solutions have had a significant territorial impact, especially contributions to improving the conservation status of species and habitats of conservation interest in Romania and increasing the understanding of urban blue-green infrastructures. Thus, the Iron Gates Natural Park and the Putna Vrancea Natural Park are creations of CCMESI, which designed new models for the social management of natural and cultural heritage.
By organizing the National Symposium of Geography Students annually, CCMESI has encouraged competition among future environmental researchers from all universities where the geographical school has developed. We frequently find recognized specialists in geographical university centers, research institutes, national and local public institutions, private companies, or NGOs who have passed through the filter of this traditional event.
Environmental conduct and awareness are formed over time, and CCMESI has invested in cultivating healthy volunteerism in the service of society and the environment. Through partnerships with other environmental institutions (an example being the Carpathian-Danubian Center for Geoecology – CCDG), CCMESI has coordinated activities that have honed teamwork and the opportunity to take on responsibilities in maintaining environmental quality.
A solemn thought of remembrance for the one who left us this legacy, Professor Valer Trufaș. Surely, he is proud of what we have developed and diversified over three decades in this institution called CCMESI.
My encouragement is to preserve the character of being an environmental school, an institution responsible for the modernization of geography and the protection of the environment and its components.
Professor Maria Pătroescu, founder of CCMESI, emerita professor at the University of Bucharest, and honorary member of the Society for Urban Ecology.