Romania - Forestry

In 2001, forests covered 6.35 million ha (15.7 million acres), representing about 27% of the total area of Romania. The forests are found mainly in the Carpathian Mountains and in Transylvania, and are 70% hardwood (mostly beech and oak) and 30% softwood (mainly spruce and pine). Commercial forests account for 98% of the total forest area. About 40% of Romania's forests are damaged, and up to 25% are defoliated. Insects, air pollution, and fires are the main causes of tree damage. The amount of timber permitted to be cut is approved annually by the Romanian parliament, and was set at 16 million cu m (565 million cu ft) for 2002 (95% from state-owned forests). Roundwood production in 2001 was estimated at 14,500,000 cu m (511.9 million cu ft). Furniture production and industrial processing utilized 48% of domestic roundwood that year, firewood, 17%; pulp and paper, 16%; construction, 12%; and wood chips, 7%. Forestry accounts for 5% of GDP and 10% of exports.

Between 1976 and 1985, 580,000 hectares (1,433,200 acres) were reforested. After the collapse of the communist regime, domestic demand, exports, and reforestation plummeted. During 1990–2000, some 15,000 ha (37,000 acres) were annually reforested. Since trade liberalization in 1997, Romania's wood industry has expanded; there are neary 7,000 small and medium sized firms.

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