PASFORMMA Final Report

ROBINWOOD PLUS

Subproject PASFORMMA

Municipality of REMETEA

 

FINAL REPORT

2011-2012

 

 

1. Subproject aims, goals and actions, objectives

As stated in the draft of the subproject one of the serious problems that is present in a lot of regions of Europe, and in particular those involved in the project Robin Wood Plus , is to stop the exodus of young people from rural to urban areas. The depopulation of rural areas is a phenomenon that can be decreased with the development of management plans, prepared with participatory approach, to make more attractive rural areas to the young local people.

In many European areas under-development of the rural areas make less attractive and difficult the living for the population, which could not find means for an acceptable living standard. The demographic development of Remetea is showing that people are acting as the general European trend:


Year

Population

1567

30

1763

834

1838

2.759

1895

5.215

1910

6.207

1941

7.300

2002

6.316

2011

6.171


Decreasing of the population is evident, in these days we have almost the same number of inhabitants then 100 years before, with a maximum in mid of the last century. Specially the young people are migrating the find work to the nearest urban areas, like Gheorgheni or Miercurea Ciuc or even much more far away like Western Europe or even USA. Once they established in some remote location, related to the employment they are not willing anymore to return to the rural areas from where they come. So it is important to create for them a much more attractive local perspective.

To make the area’s livelihood more attractive to the people, area with a strong forest vocation (ZRF), which had at the beginning more than 80% covered by forests, needs integrated management plans. Two of the fundamental principles on which to set the ZRF management plans certainly are the sustainability and participation - generally understood as the ability of a community in the wealth management and then, in the best possible, transmit to future generations. Accordingly the integrated management plan should respect the cultural heritage of the community, the social component but also the environment and sustainability requirements.

The project major objectives are:

1. Develop a model for the Management of a ZRF on the basis of the ‘Criteria and Principles’ of the SFM;

2. Establishment and development of a model of participatory communication within a ZRF,

3. Elaboration of a catalog of opportunities to develop ZRF in a trans-disciplinary perspective that highlights the cultural, environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The practical solution, adapted to the realities of the each participant region, should take in consideration to realize, or to draft, the:

- development of pilot project in each region and the deriving ZRF management plan;

- development of a communication tool for the e-democracy in planning process,

- creation of a Catalogue of best practices to share know-how.

- Forum with the stakeholder and creation of a permanent Policy Advisory Board (PAB) in order to increase the communication between, SME, Policy Maker, and Researcher.

Major expected results were:

Enhancing the level of cooperation, increased staff expertise, exchange of best practices and improvement of participation in the planning process of interested clusters.


2. AREA WITH STRONG FOREST VOCATION (ZRF)

2.1 Municipality of REMETEA – general presentation

1. Geography settlement

Remetea is a large village located in Gheorgheni Depression, almost in the geographical center of Romania, in the county Harghita. Gheorgheni Depression itself, geographically, economically and administratively, can be regarded as a micro-region. Is bounded by geographic coordinates 25 ° 27 'east longitude and 46 ° 47' north latitude. Ridge Mountains near the village, still covered by forests reach an altitude of 1600 m. Mures River marks the boundary between Remetea and common brotherhood, Ditrau. Mures river accumulate a considerable part of water in the area. Four small rivers are flowing into the river Mures.

harghitaharghita-nord

From the west, the natural limit of the village is given by Gurghiului Mountains. Village area is 10,600 ha. The nearest town is Gheorgheni and the county residence is Miercurea Ciuc, with a population of 42.000, located approx. 55 km away to the South.

 

2. Topographic and cartographic history of the area

As always and everywhere, and here, studying and mapping the area has made the military initiative. The first maps that villages, rivers, streams, forests and roads in the area are shown, dated from the period 1763-1787. Following are large scale maps from the years 1819 and 1896. On these maps appear geographical names: the name of the mountain, mountain ranges, rivers, streams and while they are represented contour. These were the so-called "maps with piezometric lines". Enter first book land took place in the period 1780-1790, during the reign of Emperor Joseph II of Austria. Measurements of different fields were conducted during the years 1869-1887. In the following period were made maps that were included boundarie names, then after building the railroad was indicated paths. In the years 1940, during the Second World War appeared last military maps.

3. Geology, flora and fauna

The western part of the Carpathians is composed of a Neogene mountain chain. Valley slopes are formed of volcanic rocks and valley floor consists of sediments. In the deepest point (thalweg) was formed a layer of peat. There are numerous mineral springs whose therapeutic effect is demonstrated. The dominant soils are brown forest podzolic, peat soils and dents. Crop yields are mediocre, wheat around 2 t / ha. Vegetation is similar to the Alpine foreland of Switzerland and the general impression Jura Mountains of Switzerland. Groundwater is shallow about, 3 m from the surface in the thalweg, and at depths of 20 m from the slopes of the valley. Water accumulation layers that are suitable for drinking water are at depths greater than 100 m.

In forests the monoculture nearly is dominant, the species is spruce (Picea excelsa). Apart from this, the native species appear fir, yew and European larch (Larix decidua) at a lower rate. Rivers and streams are embroidered with willow. Particular importance have the berries, as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Here are present a wide range of fungi, and the most important are: mushrooms, boletus, sponges spicy eggplant species etc. In terms of game in the first place are important big game: deer, wild boar, deer, fox, bear, wolf, lynx. Of birds deserve to be remembered capercaillie.

4. Climate zone
From climatic zone falls within the category temperate continental climate. During extreme temperatures are 30 º C and -30 º C. The average annual temperature is +5 Co. The average annual rainfall is more than 600 mm, which occurs more as snow. Thus, given the altitude area in terms of climate, can be considered relatively dry. Vegetation period is short. Keep in early May to late September. Consequently, the possibilities are limited cultivation of agricultural plants.

5. Population of the area

Harghita county is also currently the Hungarian region of Romania. 85% of the population is represented by Székely-Hungarians. Romanian population is 14%. Roma people and other nationalities is 1%. Remetea village population ratio of 99.3% is composed of Székely-Hungarians. In conclusion the most used language is Hungarian..

It is frighteningly large the number of young people who emigrate temporarily or permanently. Must take all possible measures to stop or improve the process. First of all must be ensured in place a modern infrastructure, appropriate and attractive jobs. Currently, from the 6.300 inhabitants of the town, nearly 2.000 works abroad, especially in Hungary. Because of this, the share of unemployed is only 6.6%, which is considered a low to average.

6. The budget of municipality of Remetea

Year

2009

2010

2011

Incomes (EUR)

2 915 800

2 178 000

8 095 100

Costs: (EUR)

3 104 800

2 517 000

8 650 000

- Own Projects

1 725 000

1 011 000

733 000

- EU Projects

5 817 000

 

2.2. ZRF

Transylvania’s name – Erdély in Hungarianis coming from the endless forests which were situated here in the early Middle Ages

- At the beginning, the actual administrative area of the municipality was more than 80% covered by forests

- As consequences of a dynamic growth of local population, more and more forests were transformed in pastures or agricultural land as the only solution to insure the existence of the population

- The forest cover in our days is less then 35% of the total area, the largest deforestation happened in the last 200 years

- The actual forest area is 2.256 ha, in addition with the 1.700 hectares of pastures which partly covered by forests or trees

As the regarded area is the administrative area of the municipality of Remetea the ZRF was established accordingly to that aspect:

remetea-zrf

The most important aspect in the property sector in Romania, generally and in Remetea specially is that since 1990 was started a restitution process, of agricultural and forest land confiscated by the communist regime, which is still ongoing in our days. The process was started more than 20 years ago but is unfinished, because of bureaucratic issues and probably will be a problem also for the next few years.

During the restitution process many peoples, institutions and organizations were given back the proprieties, but unfortunately, due to the time extent of restitution process too much owners are not anymore living.

The biggest forest owners are in hectares:

MUNICIPALITY

760

GENERAL SCHOOL

30

CATHOLIC CHURCH

30

MARTONKA Association

126

APPPFIR Association

450

COMPOSESORATE

460

L 18/1991 RESTITUTED FOREST- HÁRSA

400

L18/1991 RESTITUTED MEADOW

1.700

 

forest-composition


For more than a half of the forest are valid forest management plans, due to the forest act, which makes compulsory the management of owned forest independently of the forest plots size.

 

3.  MANAGING FORESTS IN THE ZRF

A forest planning that considers many aspects necessary for the sustainable management of forests (forest issues, environmental, natural and socio-economic needs of people living in forest areas) should be achieved in a participative way. And all that for the simple reason to be useful for the majority of the people, not just for some privileged categories or for the administration.

As mentioned before the Romanian forests have to have, it is compulsory by law not voluntary, a forest management plan and they must have also a forest administration (Forest District) which is guarding the forests and executing the forest works in the field. The main reason for being so is due to the massive problem of illegal logging appeared mostly after the restitution process started.

The situation stays now so –

- For the managed forests the management plans have to be renewed every 10 years, and the new one will be made in 2013, by a state endorsed planning company, strictly on technical basis,

- the unmanaged forests have not clarified the owners list, and are partly illegal harvested in the last 10 years,

- the afforested pastures are not managed, with un-clarified ownership and mostly clear cut in the last 20 years.

So the subproject had a special focus on the SFM (Sustainable Forest Management), in the case of Remetea, as the most important part of the Management of a ZRF, which has a highlight of long-term sustainability of forest related jobs.

Accordingly in municipality of Remetea the goal was to support forest owners by realizing a clear and up-to-date inventory of forests and afforested pastures by owners type (private or public), by forest type and location. This is important in order to resolve the problem of guarding and to reach the effectiveness of the forest management in our region.

We started to make the necessary clarification in the ownership status of the owners, because after the restitution the location of the lands were not specified, some part of the restitution were made just on paper, not also in the field. So, many of the owners are not aware where their lands effectively are, or even the fact that they are forest owners. We step forward in these activities also even after closing this subproject, which was a real trigger to start awareness.

The work to make a complete inventory of the forests and afforested pastures owners is a job for many years, and the main result of this subproject was that people rise awareness to understand how important it is to be done, related to a sustainable management of local forests. The work has been started and also another project will provide support - the identification of all the cadastral land owners in the locality, including the forest and afforested pasture owners. The field phase of this complementary project was done in the semester III.

To have an integrated ZRF forest management plan with the other aspects of economic, social and ecological activities it is important to have fully clarified the ownership relations.

The general outlines of the ZRF being drawn, after completion of forest and pasture owners inventory, based on the experiences and best practices acquired, and relying on the results of the 2013 made forest management plans the Management plan of the ZRF Remetea will be finalized.

During the international meeting held in Remetea, we showed our best practices and good experiences, in order to be added to the Catalogue of opportunities to develop ZRF in a trans-disciplinary perspective.

Remetea is a village, a small locality, and 1. – the forum and meetings held with the stakeholder and institution at local scale and 2. - the Municipality webpage, as web based communication tool (e-democracy tool) completed perfectly the requirements of participatory communication and planning set in the major objectives of the subproject. meeting-remetea

Also in order to insure the communication perspective trough the web, the subproject management purchased the internet domain www.robinwood-plus.com for even after the period of subproject validity PASFORMMA and Robinwood Plus were off. The setup of the webpage is ongoing, with records acquired from the activities, best experiences and good practices from the subprojects, in which Municipality of Remetea took place. To mention is that expenses related to the site were not made and will be not claimed.

RESULTS:

1. Increase of the staff capacity resulting from the exchange of the experience (n.25)

2. Good practices successfully transferred (n.5)

3. Promotion and awareness local authorities with the PAB.s (2).

4.Development of Strategic plan for ZRF (n. 1)

5. Articles/appearances in press and media (n. 8)

6. Participants events (n. 400)

7. Average no of hits per month on the operation’s website (n. 50)

8. No of copies of newsletters disseminated (n. 300)

9 No of copies of brochures disseminated (n.600)

10. No of joint reports with guidelines (2)

The subprojects workflow respected the program of Annex II, except the realization of the communication tool which was replaced by a complex web-page and the municipality’s webpage for Romanian visitors.

PHASE 1: Creation of the web-page of the project (A1) in order to facilitate communication among partner. First International Meeting (A2) ( held in Italy July 2011) to define the detailed work plan including, reporting activity and Steering Committee (SC) meeting.

PHASE 2: Development of a web based communication tool for the active participation of local actors – which were replaced by the homepage prepared by University of Calabria. Second forum with the PAB to show the web-based tool and to collect feedback from expert judgments.

PHASE 2: Second forum with the PAB to show the web-based tool and to collect feedback from expert judgments. The creation of a Multi-lingual Brochures that summarize the ambitions objectives of the project, were made by the Municipality of Remetea.

We approached, during the subproject, the forest owners six times, with local TV advertisements, letters, flyers. Meeting with the associations, general meetings and meeting with subproject participants helped to keep informed people with the subproject progress and to gather opinions and proposals from the participants. We targeted specially the local community so the articles were published in local press. The general feeling was that the project is a great opportunity of changing experience between the member states of the European Union, related to the forests. Through the "Képes vagyok" the news got to 3000 people and through the local TV to the most of the citizens of Remetea. On the international meeting held in Remetea participated 40 peoples on the presentation section and on the following field trip more than 130.

Practically almost the entire population of the locality Remetea was informed over the Municipality's participation and activity progress in the ROBINWOOD PLUS project, PASFORMMA subproject, trough the local mass-media. Many people were involved in the subproject, trough participating to the international meetings and local forums and in this way information streamed out also trough informal information channels, trough discussions and sharing experiences with other, not directly involved persons.

Also newsletters of the subproject were posted on the official billboard of the Municipality Remetea.


4. CONCLUSIONS

Participating to the subproject activities was a great opportunity for the staff of the Municipality to improve the:

- participatory approach and planning process in Remetea Municipality

- support to socio-economic development in forest area according to its vocation,

- communication process between policy makers, scientists and common people.

Awareness rising related to forestry issues helped to convince Municipality Council members to adopt decisions in favor of solving problems related to clarifications of forest and pasture owners inventory and to make a contract with a Forest District for guarding the afforested pastures.

Many of the best practices and good experiences seen during travels are important for the future to improve forest based livelihood, to make possible an integrated management of ZRF Remetea. Triggered outcomes will not stop with the subproject, we intend to continue them and also the collaboration with some of subproiect participants.

 

Link1 | Link2 | Link3

Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.