HCV5:

  • Forests essential for providing the basic needs of firewood for local communities (HCVF Toolkit)

Occurrence

The HCVF toolkit for Romania established the criteria for identifying and mapping of HCV 5 as fundamental for satisfying the basic needs of the communities. The common basic needs identified in the HCVF toolkit for Romania included wood for energy (heating and cooking), construction and craftsmanship. The method suggested for identification of HCV 5 values within a forest area is public consultation of local communities and socio-economic studies done in the area.

As Romania has several regions with rural population below the poverty line, especially in remote or isolated areas, in the Danube Delta or in mountain regions, the use of local resources becomes very important (Rural poverty portal, http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/romania) and are fundamental for the livelihood of this communities. It is still difficult to establish a clear threshold between fundamental dependence on forest resources (grounds for identifying HCV5) for satisfying the basic necessities of local communities and cases where forest products are just an alternative income to
subsistence. However, as the HCV toolkit states, the situations where communities are strictly dependable on the forest are very rare.

Threats & Safeguards identification and evaluation

The policy of National Forest Administration and certain private Forest management Enterprises (FMEs) (mostly managing community forests) is to provide limited quantities of firewood and even construction wood at prices lower than the free market. This timber is not harvested from certain compact areas, but it represents wood from common harvests that do not have industrial use.

The modifications of the wood sale regulations (Gov. decision 617/2016) could lead to a gap in fire wood
provision for local population, as the National Forest Administration will be able to harvest by itself only 15% of the total allowable cut in the forests administered in 2017 and a maximum of 20% for 2018 according to art. 3 paragraph (3) of GD no. 617/2016 (art. 3 paragraph 3). This can potentially lead to a risk of the communities not being able to cover their need for firewood through legal sources of timber.

Furthermore, the timber harvest by the National Forest Administration (which can be used also for firewood provisioning) will not be in all forest districts under the management of NFA, which can lead to restricted access to firewood for certain isolated communities. As these communities do not have access to electricity or gas line, the only possibility for heating remains  firewood. The consumption of fire wood per winter is quite high, since these localities are located in mountainous regions, with very low temperatures in the cold season.

The recent provisions of the Wood selling regulations represent a risk for the firewood supply to these local communities.

For forests surrounding isolated communities, with no other access to firewood, the risk is considered specified.

Specified risk

Biomass plantation: Not applicable for HCV5.

  • Vlad, R.G., Bucur, C., Turtica, M., (coord.), 2013, A practical guide for the identification and management of high conservation value forests, Editura Green Steps, Brasov, http://certificareforestiera.ro/doc/HCVF%20Toolkit_WWF.pdf
  • Halalisan, A.F., Enescu, R.E., 2015, Procesul de certificare a managementului forestier in Romania [Forest management certification process in Romania], Revista padurilor, vol 130, issue 3-4
  • Rural Poverty Portal, http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/romania
  • Forest Code (law 4/2008, republished in 2015)
  • Technical regulations no. 5
  • Vasile, M. (2006) Obstea today in the Vrancea Mountains, Romania. Self-governing institutions of Forest Commons. Sociologie
    Româneascã (Romanian Sociology), vol. 4, 3, 111-130.
  • Vasile, M. (2007) The sense of property, deprivation and memory in the case of Obstea Vrânceanã. Sociologie Româneascã (Romanian
    Sociology), vol. 5, 2, 114-129.
  • Vasile, M. (2008a) Nature conservation, conflict and discourses on forest management: communities and protected areas from Meridional
    Carpathians. Romanian Sociology (Sociologie Româneascã), 3-4, 87-100
  • Hotararea de Guvern 617/2016 pentru aprobarea Regulamentului de valorificare a masei lemnoase din fondul forestier proprietate publică [Gov. decision 617/2016 regarding the Wood selling regulations for state forests] http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/181443 

Country Specific

  • Material shall not originate from areas where HCVs are present, unless there is evidence that confirms that local communities are engaged, and their requirements are met.
  • Evidence that forest managers have conducted public consultation on the issue of firewood supply to isolated communities that are dependent on the forest area