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Vulnerability and Resilience of the Mining Communities. The Case of Bukovina Region, Romania

Viorel CHIRIŢĂ1, Daniela MATEI*2
* Corresponding author
1 “Ștefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, Faculty of History and Geography, Department of Geography, Suceava, ROMANIA
2 Romanian Academy, Institute for Economic and Social Research "Gh. Zane”, Iași, ROMANIA
Pages: 157-166

Abstract. The decision to cease mining activities in Bukovina between 1997 and 2007 was a major challenge for the population of the whole region. It made the local and regional communities and public authorities to mobilize and manage other available economic resources, namely forest, wood, water, tourist attractions or agricultural land. The economic vulnerability of communities has increased both due to the loss of jobs by a large number of people and the lack of taxes and royalties that the mining community owed to communities. This lack of source of community investment has become unavailable together with the financial support provided by a series of services related to the mining site, also used by the community: water supply, social services, supply or transport infrastructure. This study is the result of a survey based on questionnaires and interviews carried out in three mountainous communities of Bukovina, where the cessation of mining activity has led to an escalation of social and economic vulnerabilities. Authors investigated the source of origin of post-mining investments to obtain information about the resilience level acquired by the communities. The final analysis corroborated the results obtained from questionnaires with data from national statistics and local administration. The research results highlight the need to approach sustainable development by two types of concurrent processes: the co-participation of community members to improve living conditions, with emphasis on their own decisions, and secondly, the adoption of policies by local governments to encourage initiative, self-support and mutual help to make them more effective.

K e y w o r d s:  vulnerability, resilience, mining communities, mountainous rural areas, development