The Compossessorates in the Olt Land (Romania) as Sustainable Commons
The compossessorates are traditional Transylvanian commons. They were disbanded during the Communist regime and re-established after 1989 according to the successive laws concerning land restitution. The current article highlights the importance of compossessorates in the Olt Land (in the south of Transylvania, Romania) as partners involved in projects focused on the sustainable development of the area. To this end, the paper presents the main features of contemporary Romanian commons,
... s the sustainable traditional orientation of compossessorates, and signals the latter's difficulty in establishing relations with environmental protection-oriented NGOs, in this case Foundation Conservation Carpathia which focuses on establishing a national park in the area. Consequently, the methods employed to achieve all of the above was the thematic analysis of publications found in the Anelis+ databases which were considered relevant for the theme of Romanian commons, and the content analysis of some normative acts and compossessorates' by-laws dating back to the first half of the 20th century. The information on the relations between the commons and NGOs were retrieved from the official websites of the organizations, and from the media. The article shows that current compossessorates have social potential and economic efficiency. Their existence in the Olt Land is significant from an identity-based perspective. The latter is built upon the common interest of law makers and locals to constructively manage the forestry fund and respect property rights. Their functioning can be made more efficient. Both these and the NGOs openly state their sustainable orientation and that could contribute to reducing the tensions between them through correct communication. Ignoring the compossessorates' sustainable orientation and their community prestige could sabotage any sustainable local development project if they are not consulted and invited as partners.