Circular economy in NW Romania - 'The Forest Decalogue'

"..I am an old asset that should be placed on a shelf..” – said Mr Lugan, the man who developed the family business of Silvania International Prod SRL in Lunca Ilvei, NW Region of Romania.

Mr Lugan is the heart and the engine of the business, but he is a very modest person who helped all his family members to build their own business. He is very proud of what he has achieved in the community and of the sound forest management. His company not only exploits the wood but has set up a nursery where it produces planting material from which they populate the surfaces that have to re-enter the forest circuit. ".. all of this is for the young ones”, said Mr Lugan pointing out that he is very proud of his nephew who is just 12 years old and has already spent his holidays working and learning about the business. "...He is our future!” said Mr Lugan.  

Being born at the foot of the Rodnei Mountains, Mr Lugan is very tied to the mountain area, its problems and its future. He is always happy to show the natural richness of the area – which, unfortunately, is scattered. For example, the wool from the sheep that are currently being thrown out but which can become a perfect material for wood walls providing a thermal bridge that prevents heat loss. This resource could be the future of flexible wooden houses, in rural and urban areas.

Mr Lugan’s personal and business life is based on the 'Forest Decalogue' which is a century old and represents one of the most eco-friendly local policies.

  1. As you believe in one God, so you should firmly believe that each tree, each bush, every shrub, every forest is a mediator between the ground and the atmosphere, and never forget that without these two agents pulled together, the rich and beautiful country would turn into a hollow field!
  2. Never misuse the name of the forest, but strive to make that the most stunted and isolated shrub into a shady forest!
  3. Remember, human, that the forest gives you the most daily products and that your life, from cradle to coffin is connected to the forest: that in our days when the struggle for existence is fierce, your health hangs, above all, on the prosperity of the forests!
  4. You should honour every tree and plant; worship the forest, protect it, and cultivate it for your children, so that it may be good for you and your descendants, and for you to live many years on this earth!
  5. Do not kill any bird or animal feeding on insects dangerous for the forest, educate your children to not do this and teach them to know the animals harmful to the forest and their enemies, to destroy the first ones and protect the later ones.
  6. Do not pollute the virgin ground of the forest by introducing any species unfit for it, but more importantly, familiarize your children with the irremovable laws of nature, so that the afforestation and the entire administration of the forests always be in accordance with the perceptions of these sublime laws!
  7. Do not alienate the green trees, nor mutilate them; do not pick up the blanket of dried leaves, the bark, the resin or green branches ... because all of them are part of the life of the planet and they are useful for the good storage of the forest!
  8. Do not give good testimony to any forest delinquent, nor deny or hide forest crimes that come to your knowledge, but tell them without delay to the forestry officers or the communal authorities, so that the guilty ones will receive the punishment they deserve.
  9. Do not assimilate your neighbour’s forestry products, also prevent yourself from making bad use of the products from the forests of the state, of the Crown field, of the public establishments, of the villages and churches, out of knowing or neglect, if you have been honoured to manage them.
  10. If you are in forestry as a professional duty, remember the greatest debt you have, is to respect the articles of the 'Forest Decalogue', as you are their guardian.

The Decalogue has the following call to all the people who are reading it: "...Be diligent, honest, and constant in your work, nor the gentleness should degenerate into weakness, neither the energy in oppression nor the authority to the inferiors should become adulation nor turn into tyranny! May your heart be joyful, your life and mind always be sober, for the mind and life have been given to you by the Creator, you, great or small forester, take care of the forests just as you cherish your most precious treasures, which are the health and the honour of the forester”.

By following this way of life, Mr Lugan has created a successful business, always being careful to: invest in the business and in community, to take care of people and their families, and to take care of the natural resources targeting zero waste.

The story of Silvania International Prod represents beautifully the prototype of an ideal circular economy in rural areas, such as a small village in Romania.

Noun: Decalogue - Meaning 'The Ten Commandments'