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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Forest loss and timber trade in Romanian Carpathians

Usually, institutional shocks have been seen as the origin of changes in forest coverage solely, without looking a step forward at the role of the timber markets in logging and without considering the role played by trade-related actors in shaping the institutional processes (e.g. lobby and corruption for law changing).

This project aims at understanding the role of timber trade in recent forest coverage-related developments in the Romanian Carpathians, by combining three sets of data: remote sensing data, official statistics of harvested volumes and timber exports. More concretely, the project seeks answer to the following research questions: How is global trade (and in particular postsocialist liberalization of markets) impacting forest loss? Are changes in land use/forest coverage correlating with changes in the flow of trade - increase in export quantities, establishment of big timber companies? How are institutional shocks (changes in forest laws, property restitution and forest-law changes, administrative changes, changes in local governance systems, decentralization) shaping international timber trade and timber production processes? And, in a circular relation, how do trade interests trigger institutional change?


The researcher behind the project
Photo:Arryn Snowball

Monica Vasile, born in Romania in 1980, studied and taught Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Bucharest, where she obtained her PhD in 2008. From 2008 to 2009 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Köln, and from 2009 to 2013 a researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle-Saale. She has conducted research in different mountainous regions of Romania and has been concerned with issues of individual and collective action in relation to natural resources, both historically and in the present. She published and presented on themes related to local governance of forest commons, property relations, forest-dependent economies, illegal logging, corruption and environmental conservation. Her current project examines production and trade of timber in Romania, with a focus on local informal economy and social relations entailed by commercial practices.

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