The property rights structure over the forest in nowadays Romania looks as follows: approximately 50% state property, 50% private property, out of which 58% is commonly owned (aprox.1.5 million hectares) and 42% individual owned forests. In absolute terms the state property is 3.5 million hectares, out of which 450.000 are still to be restituted to the former owners (Romanian Forestry Department data 2007). A commonly owned private forest means the following – a village owns up 20 000 ha of forests and is entitled with one property title ( Romanian law of property restitution 1/2000 forbids the selling of property rights in the case of commonly owned private forests. Lately, two legislative initiatives were pushing towards the changing of this uncomfortable legislative foresight.

If one wants to buy forest in Romania, there is one advantage – the price is ridiculous, only 2000 euros per ha, but, according to the law, there is only one quarter available for sale, the individual private forests. Nevertheless, this part is brooked-up in very little lots and still with litigious problems over the property rights.

For five years transnational companies for wood exploitation (but not only) are very much interested in buying forested land in Romania. According to the dally Romanian financial newspaper Ziarul Financiar 24.03.2009, the most active actor on the market is Harvard Management Company, the investment found of Harvard University. Harvard bought up to the end of 2008, 30.000 ha of forest in Romania. Far on the back, on the second place comes the Finish transnational company Tormentor, with 12.000 ha bought in the central part of Romania. It follows Holzindustrie Schweighofer and Porsche with 8000 ha each.

In 2007 the first attempt to change the law so that commonly owned forest to be for sale was rejected by the Romanian Parliament. The reasons were based on the fact that since the very first institutionalization of forest commons, the write to sale these commons was forbidden. A new attempt followed at the end of 2008, when, at the shade of the national elections, few deputies took the initiative again. The reason for this is very simple, after the Romanian state, the villages own the largest surface of forested areas in Romania. For a good business, you only need few powerful economic entrepreneurs and some corrupted politicians. Only that this time the villages reacted too.

Most of these villages are highly depend on these resources. The local timber market is for most of them the only source of income. So being under pressure from both sides, nationally and transitionally, they regrouped themselves in an NGO with a national character (CSMC).

In the next chapter we will see how this reaction can be politically contextualized.