Counter shows forest destruction of Romanian virgin forests in real time

++ Romanian EU Presidency 2019: Eyes on Romania - and the virgin forest destruction ++ EuroNatur and Agent Green call on Romania and EU to turn ignorance into action ++

Clear cutting in Romanian nationalpark Semenic © Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur

Bucharest, Radolfzell. Romania will host the presidency of the EU Council until 30th of June - for the first time since its EU accession. EuroNatur Foundation and Agent Green take this opportunity to draw international attention to the escalating logging crisis: Romania´s vast virgin and natural forest remains vanishing at a frightening speed. A counter will showcase the number of trees cut illegally during Romania´s EU presidency.

„Until today, no appropriate action has been taken to stop this dramatic loss of outstanding nature; neither by Romania nor by the EU. Therefore EuroNatur and Agent Green will put an unmissable public spotlight on the Romanian forest drama. A counter will showcase the logging disaster in numbers of trees cut illegally and actions will come along“, Gabriel Paun, president of Agent Green says.

Romania hosts an estimated 100.000-200.000 ha of virgin forests, the biggest share of this almost extinct ecosystem in the EU. Solid figures do not exist. In December 2018, secret kept data from Romania’s second Forest Inventory were leaked to media. These figures show a catastrophic scale of illegal logging as the annual wood cut in Romania is about 38 Mio m3, whereas legal cut (as laid down in forest management plans) is only 18 Mio m3 per year. Therefore, the illegal logging volume in Romania is larger than the legal one. This is unprecedented in the EU and should be halted immediately. And logging is also happening in protected areas, such as Natura 2000 sites. 

EuroNatur and Agent Green will highlight this large scale breach of EU legislation with a logging counter following the Romanian EU presidency as well as civil society actions, reminding politicians and delegates that European natural heritage in Romania gets lost every minute.

Between January and June several council meetings, an EU summit and numerous other events will take place in Romania. Today, the presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and the Commissioners’ College (all EU commissioners) will visit Bucharest for the official launch ceremony and an initial meeting with the Romanian government.  The government will most likely present a bright and polished image of the country. Hopefully the presidency will also lead to increased attention on Romania’s down sides: corruption, attempts by the current government to weaken anti-mafia prosecutors - and the logging disaster. „We will ensure that this biggest nature crisis of the EU will no longer be ignored and our actions will show that this is an important topic also for the European society“, Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive Director of EuroNatur Foundation announces.

 

Background information:

Contact information:
EuroNatur: Anja Arning, E-Mail: anja.arning(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 13
Agent Green: Gabriel Paun, E-Mail: gabriel.paun(at)agentgreen.org

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