Activists urge EU Commission to save Romania’s Virgin Forests

EuroNatur and Agent Green: EU’s biggest nature crisis in Romania requires immediate action

The Robert Schuman roundabout in Brussels shows the outlines of a felled tree. © Lode Saidane
With determined expressions, the forest protectors demonstrate in front of the building of the European Commission. © Matthias Schickhofer

Brussels, Radolfzell.  A giant life-sized virgin forest tree being cut down has been etched into the pavement outside the EU Commission building in Brussels. Along with several banners calling on the EU to act now to protect Romania's virgin forests, activists from EuroNatur Foundation and Romanian NGO Agent Green have brought the issue of the logging of Romania's ancient forests to Brussels. Huge banners have been unravelled drawing a lot of attention to the ongoing destruction of the EU’s last large tracts of virgin forests in Romania.

“This is a wake-up call about the tragic environmental crisis that is destroying Romania's virgin forests. Their loss through logging is one of the biggest nature emergencies in the EU today. Thousands of hectares of irreplaceable forests are being destroyed or degraded every year. Most of these precious forests are in Natura 2000 sites, where they are supposed to be protected. We call on the EU Commission to take action, now!“, Gabriel Paun, president of Agent Green, said.

Romania hosts the largest remains of virgin forests within the EU, with estimates between 100,000 and 200,000 hectares. These unique forests are progressively falling victim to greed, corruption and negligence of nature conservation laws. Even in national parks and Natura 2000 sites, where deterioration of the natural habitats and species should be prohibited, logging of old growth and virgin forests is omnipresent.

“If the breach of EU legislation in Romania is allowed to continue without any sanctions, the whole Natura 2000 system is weakened. Thus the EU needs to stop looking the other way and start taking action! This is why we have come to Brussels today“, Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive Director of EuroNatur, said.

Romania will hold the EU-presidency in 2019, but authorities and the government do not show any ambition to implement national and EU environmental legislation properly.

 

Background information:

The creative and peaceful protest was part of a day of action in Brussels called “Spotlight on Vanishing Virgin Forests of Romania“. NGOs EuroNatur und Agent Green wanted to both inform the public and raise awareness with EU institutions about the logging in Romania, a drama that doesn’t get the attention it needs. The day of action also includes these events:

  • Expert conference “Europe‘s last virgin forests”, hosted by MEPs Thomas Waitz and Benedek Javor. European Parliament, Room number ASP5E1. Nov 8, 15 – 17pm. (Please note: participants need to register in advance at thomas.waitz-office(at)ep.europa.eu).
  • Film screening “Out of Control”, a video series about scandalous logging in Romania’s national parks, with discussion. Kamilou in Mundo B (Rue d’Edimbourg, 26, 1050 Bruxelles), Nov 8, 19 – 21pm. Entry: free.

The campaign “SaveParadiseForests“ aims at protecting the most valuable virgin forests of the Carpathians, particularly in Romania. It is jointly coordinated and carried out by the NGOs EuroNatur and Agent Green.

Please sign the petition to save Europe’s last large virgin forests!

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

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