Romania really needs to improve its forest road networks

Romania is reportedly a country with one of the lowest forest road networks in Europe, with an average of six meters per hectar of forest, and the funds allocated through the National Strategic Plan (PNS) and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) are absolutely insufficient for the needs of the forestry sector, according to the general director of the National Forestry Agency – Romsilva, Daniel Nicolaescu.

„Unfortunately, Romania is the country that has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, network of forest roads. We have somewhere around six linear meters per hectare of forest. This is a shortcoming, primarily from the point of view of the accessibility of the stands, on the one hand, but also from the point of view of the negative impact that the removal of wood material has on the soil in the forest. We still have situations, both in the forests managed by the National Forestry Authority, and in the other forests, when the wood material is removed, i.e. from the forest and to the forest road, where it is loaded into the means of transport, it is done on forest roads with trails, lengths that sometimes exceed three or even four kilometers”, Nicolaescu stated.

In his opinion, this is due to the lack of funds for investments in this field. According to statistical data, at the European level, Germany has an average forest road network density of approximately 60 meters per hectare, Austria – 36 meters per hectare, and France – 26 meters/hectare.

„We had two large funding programs: the National Strategic Plan for Romania (PNS), which was recently approved by the European Commission, and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, and although the sector – and here I’m not only talking about Romsilva, I’m talking about the sector as a whole – collaborated and together the needs of the forestry sector were identified, and these were made available both to the Ministry of Agriculture, which managed the PNS, and to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, unfortunately, financing for forestry it is almost zero”, he pointed out in a meeting with the press held at the end of last year.

Romsilva manages 3.13 million hectares of state-owned forests, about 48% of the country’s forests, and provides forestry services for about one million hectares of forests in other forms of ownership. Of the total number of forests owned by the state, 80% have international standard forest management certification. It also administers 22 national and natural parks, as well as 12 state stud farms.

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