Arbitrariness by authorities and delusive laws undermine protection of primeval forests in Romania

Primeval forest in the Carpathian Mountains in a valley near Sinca Noua. © Matthias Schickhofer

Romania holds general elections this Sunday +++ EuroNatur calls on the future government to amend laws, declare a moratorium on cutting down primeval forests and tighten the reins on forest authorities

Press release from 9. Dezember 2016

 

Radolfzell / Bukarest.  Romania harbours the largest old-growth forests in Europe, but they vanish at breath-taking speed. A conservation programme, the “National Register of Primeval Forests” is destined to save the remaining old-growth forests. However, the recently published interim report is more than disappointing: Currently, the register only includes about 13,000 hectares, which is less than six percent of the potentially existing old-growth forests in the country. According to the experience made by experts and nature conservation NGOs, the reasons are obvious: “Forest authorities keep withholding essential documents such as forest maps and management plans, thereby impeding the preparation of the studies that are prerequisite for nominations for the register of primeval forests”, explains Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of nature conservation foundation EuroNatur.

In September 2016, EuroNatur partner organization Agent Green submitted studies on primeval forests covering an area of 1,929 hectares in the provinces of Bacau, Buzau, Vrancea and Covasna to be included in the “National Register of Primeval Forests”. However, responsible forest inspectors did not react in any way. “This is unacceptable, because laws oblige authorities to confirm the studies within 45 days,” says Gabriel Schwaderer. Therefore, all these paradise forests remain under imminent threat by logging. In the coming winter, they could fall victim to chainsaws. A ‘forest protection regulation’ passed in July 2016 only aggravated the situation, as no studies can be submitted and areas examined between September and March. 

While the July regulation by the interim Romanian government, whose mandate will end with the parliamentary elections on 11 December 2016, had finally created a legal basis for the protection of primeval forests, it has major flaws: The regulation is complicated and still allows logging, even in strictly protected virgin forest reserves, for example ‘conservation’ cuttings after windfalls. “In a country like Romania, where corruption is pervasive, this opens the door to continued destruction of old-growth forests,” says Gabriel Schwaderer.

EuroNatur therefore calls on the future government of Romania to urgently come up with a comprehensive logging moratorium for all the potential primeval forest sites in Romania until they have been scientifically examined. “We also urge the incoming government of Romania to immediately and thoroughly repair the legal basis for the protection of virgin forests in Romania. A law that allows logging of old-growth forests through the back door is unacceptable,” Gabriel Schwaderer concludes.

Contact information:

EuroNatur, Westendstraße 3, 78315 Radolfzell, Germany, T: +49 7732 - 92 72 10, F: +49 7732 - 92 72 22, katharina.grund@euronatur.org, www.euronatur.org, Press contact: Katharina Grund, Contact person: Gabriel Schwaderer

 

 

 

Information service

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Learn more about our topics

Brown Bear

Seen as a predator with a sweet tooth, a much loved model for soft toys yet outlawed and hunted down as a blood-thirsty beast: the brown bear.

Lynx

Lithe and skillful, the lynx is a shy, lone hunter. If it is to survive in Europe and if the population is to be undisturbed enough to increase in number, intensive protection measures will be required.

Wolf

Mankind's relationship to the wolf is ambivalent – on the one hand the animal is admired as a skilled and untiring hunter but also ill-famed as Isengrim the bloodthirsty and persecuted.

Migratory birds

Always to be where living conditions are best: this is a luxury that only those with wings can afford.

Green Belt

Across 12 500 kilometres (over 7700 miles) the Green Belt stretches along the one-time Iron Curtain forming a corridor of habitats for an exceptional diversity of species.

Rivers in Europe

Where in Germany can you still find the original wild rivers? You'll need a magnifying glass. But in the Balkans such utopias still exist on a large scale, even today.

EuroNatur award

Environmental award since 1992.

Nature photo competition

International nature photography competition "Treasures of Nature in Europe". Join us - it's free!

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection