Preferred by Nature (formerly known as NEPCon) and IUCN Poland implemented this project providing vocational training of 400 private forest managers and employees. Due to the post-Communist era privatisation process, training of private forest owners was key in securing financially and environmentally sustainable forest management in Romania. Enhanced management was vital in order to preserve the environmental values and secure the financial resources as stable long-term assets of the Romanian forests.
The objective of this project was to implement the vocational training of 400 private forest managers and employees, since training was key to secure financially and environmentally sustainable forest management in Romania.
The number of private forest owners had increased dramatically because of the national restitution of forests to their former owners, and in total, more than 600,000 forest owners had regained all or a part of their former properties, and more than 2 million hectares of forest - a third of the country's area - reached private hands during this period.
The forestry sector is vital for biodiversity protection and for the Romanian society and national economy. Almost 45 percent of Romania´s population lives in rural areas, and depend on the forestry sector to a large extent, either for employment, directly as a source of income, or for energy and non-wood products.
The training course was divided into two 5-day modules comprising field visits, practical exercises, workshops and lectures. Sustainability of forest management, market conditions and support by the EU as well as opportunities of certification also formed part of the training.
Four local university professors in forestry were responsible for the training together with Preferred by Nature's team leader Mr. Flemming Sehested. A number of guest lecturers from Romania, Denmark and Estonia participated in the training, which involved the following fields:
Primary wood processing
Forestry nurseries and cultures
Exploitation and forestry roads.
Results and impact
The project had the following outcomes:
Training programme, material, and implementation of training for 400 private forest owners and managers.
Project management, promotion and implementation of conservation plan.