FSC welcomes Romania

Sebastian Popa / FSC
The country now has national representation by FSC International.
people crowded around desk overlooking someone signing a paper
Sebastian Popa / FSC
December 22, 2023
Category : General news

Twenty years after FSC certification of the first forest management unit in Romania, the country now has national representation by FSC International. To celebrate this, all interested parties met on 31 October 2023 near Brasov, in the central part of the country and close to nature – a reminder that forests and their values is what brings us all together.

Romania is well known for its extensive forest cover and well-connected forest landscapes, where no patch is more than 1 km from an adjacent forest (Stancioiu et al., 2018). The Carpathian mountains in Romania still harbour large tracts of pristine and biodiverse forests, which boast thriving populations of wildlife in healthy ecosystems. In addition, large local communities have lived in these forests for centuries. Local people consider the forests part of their cultural identity, and their life is closely linked to locally-grown wood – from timber for their houses to raw materials for daily life to the use of large amounts of firewood.

Forest management is based on rigorous and consistent planning informed by principles that secure the provision of forest ecosystem services. National legislation that currently underpins forest management planning currently covers almost 70 per cent of the requirements of the FSC Forest Management Standard, which leaves relatively little that will need additional resources (Buliga and Nichiforel, 2018). This bodes well for future implementation. Almost half of the total forest area is state-owned, and 80 per cent of that is already FSC-certified and there are almost 900 chain of custody certificates issued in the country.

Meeting room filled with people listening to a speaker
Sebastian Popa / FSC

At the launch event Laurențiu Mihăilă, who coordinates the certification process at national level for state forests, noted, “Responsible forest management requires long-term vision and landscape applicability.”

The existing FSC forest management standard is valid until 2024, making it a high priority. “We really hope that with the representation now in the country, FSC will facilitate the revision of the standard, encompassing changes in terms of legislation such as the new forestry code in Romania and the European Union Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR). We need to find solutions to the difficulties identified in the five years of implementation, such as excessive bureaucracy and a preference for local contractors, which is hard to implement,” Mihăilă explained.

The essence of management, which all interested parties should agree on, will be to put more emphasis on promoting the biodiversity and healthy ecosystems of Romanian forests. “These are the aspects of our forests that impress scientists as well as ordinary people who visit,” Mihăilă added.

two speakers on stage at FSC Romania meeting
Sebastian Popa / FSC

The Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering in Brasov has always promoted forest certification as an instrument that will improve the recognition, reputation, and economic development of Romania’s forests. “We are open to new trends and opportunities. We look forward to collaborating with FSC representation to promote and contribute to forest certification,” Associate Professor Florin Hălălișan, Vice-Dean of the faculty, told the meeting.

The FSC team in Romania is ready for the challenges ahead, and they are not starting from scratch. With the foundation that FSC has in the country, the team will focus on two of the global organization’s four key priorities in 2024 that are relevant for Romania: FSC’s importance in the context of the European Union Regulation on Deforestation-free Products (EUDR) and Enhancing the Focus on Climate and Ecosystem Services.

For more information, please contact Mihai Boghean, FSC National Representative in Romania.