Romania rebuked for insufficiently protecting the World Heritage ‘Beech Forests’

++ World Heritage Committee criticises management of primeval beech forests in Romania ++ Committee’s appraisal applies to the World Heritage property as a whole, including its German parts ++

Old beech tree with green european forest in the background.
Some of Romania's primeval forests are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Nevertheless logging continues in these areas. © Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur

Radolfzell/Bucharest/Baku.  The World Heritage Committee finds very clear words: Romania has to improve protection of its old-growth and primeval beech forests. At its 43rd session in Baku, the World Heritage Committee urged Romania to live up to its responsibility for the World Heritage property. Logging must remain strictly prohibited within the World Heritage areas and should also be banned from the so-called buffer zones surrounding the areas. The nature conservation organisations EuroNatur and Agent Green had documented and made public numerous logging operations in buffer zones. Failures of individual governments have an impact on the entire World Heritage property, which extends over twelve countries, including Germany.

“We have to fear that this extraordinary World Heritage site will soon be classified as ‘endangered’ – and this would include the German parts. The management of the Romanian areas has not improved in recent years, and now there’s a pressing need to take remedial action. The World Heritage Committee is already entering escalation level 1 by announcing to carry out a re-assessment of the World Heritage areas. We hope that this pressure will finally make the Romanian government rethink. Romania is hosting an ancient forest treasure that has long been lost almost everywhere else in Europe”, says EuroNatur CEO Gabriel Schwaderer.
 

Background information:

  • The nature conservation organisations EuroNatur and Agent Green jointly launched the campaign ‘Save Paradise Forests’ for the preservation of primeval forests in Romania and contributed to having the Romanian ancient beech forest included in the World Heritage. 
  • The transnational World Heritage property “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” comprises a total of 78 areas in twelve countries covering some 92,000 hectares. Romania's parts (around 24,000 hectares) were recognised as a World Heritage in 2017. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1133 

Contact:
Anja Arning, E-Mail: anja.arning(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 13

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