Approaches to sustainable forestry in the Piatra Craiului National Park
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 55, Numbers 2-4, 2001 , pp. 579-598(20)
Declared in 1990, the Piatra Craiului is one of Romania's 15 national parks and biosphere reserves. It has exceptional scenic and biodiversity value but is under threat from unsustainable agricultural, forestry and tourism management. The paper examines these threats in a historical context, regarding both the growth of the town of Braşov and areas of dispersed rural settlement on the mountain edge, and argues that a sustainable future will require negotiation between the park authorities and all stakeholders, including the local communities and private woodland owners who have benefited or will benefit from restitution. The way forward is explored with forest management in a central role. First, the certification of woodlands, along with the establishment of forest user groups and community woodlands, should help to reconcile the conflicting interests in the woodlands and in wood processing in support of sustainability. Second, the overgrazing of the meadows which is degrading the pastures, restricting forest regeneration and conflicting with large carnivore conservation, could be moderated by the growth of ecotourism linked with bears and wolves which would generate a new source of income to compensate farmers for reducing their flocks – given the importance of the biodiversity resources and the socio-economic pressures – and the paper therefore considers how new approaches to forest management might provide a basis for conservation and sustainable development. It will be for the recently-established national park management system – developed with World Bank Global Environment Facility funding – to take these ideas forward in due course.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Forest Products Research Centre Faculty of Technology Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 2JZ, U.K. 2: Geography Institute, Romanian Academy, Str. Dimitrie Racoviţa 12, 70307 Bucharest 20, Romania 3: Geography Department, The University, Leicester LE1 7RH, U.K.
Publication date: January 1, 2001