EU-Commission urged to protect Europe's last natural forests from illegal logging

In the Romanian Carpathians there is still a forest wilderness that has not been known in large parts of Central Europe since the Middle Ages. © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur
Of the centuries old beech trees, only the stumps remain after the logging. © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur

Radolfzell, Bucharest, Brussels. Environmental organisations EuroNatur, Agent Green and ClientEarth have advanced their fight against illegal logging of old-growth and primeval forests in Romania by filing a complaint against the country’s authorities to the European Commission. Their joint goal is to stop the ongoing deliberate destruction of natural woodlands making up two-thirds of  unspoilt forests within the European Union (outside Scandinavia).

The organisations claim that Romania’s state forestry management, Romsilva, is conducting logging operations within protected Natura 2000 areas without proper analysis of the impact on these unique sites. In some cases the relevant environmental impact assessments, which should be performed beforehand when logging is being planned, take place years after logging gets underway.

ClientEarth wildlife lawyer Ewelina Tylec-Bakalarz said: “Systematic logging in Natura2000 sites without effective assessment of its impact on those areas is a clear violation of EU law. This is a widespread problem across Romania, which is why we are now bringing this case to the European Commission.”

Romsilva manages 22 of Romania’s 29 national and natural parks. All these areas are part of the EU Natura 2000 network and fall under the provisions of both the Habitats and the Birds directives. However, legal experts say the state forestry often fails to comply with the EU legal requirements for the protection of such areas.

Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive Director of EuroNatur said: “If the breach of EU legislation in Romania is allowed to continue without any consequences, the whole Natura 2000 system is weakened. The ongoing nature conservation drama in Romania is one of the most pressing environmental crises in Europe, yet it is still largely unrecognised.”

Tylec-Bakalarz added: “The case of Poland’s Bialowieza Forest proves how effective European law can be in protection of our continent’s natural treasures. We hope that in the case of Romania’s forests the European Commission will also take action before damage of these unique ecosystems becomes irreversible.”

 

Background information:
The campaign “SaveParadiseForests“ aims at protecting the most valuable old-growth forests of the Carpathians, particularly Romania. It is jointly coordinated and carried out by the NGOs EuroNatur (Germany) and Agent Green (Romania).
A media briefing to the complaint you can find here.

 

Press contacts:
EuroNatur: Anja Arning, anja.arning(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 13
Agent Green: Gabriel Paun, gabriel.paun(at)agentgreen.org
ClientEarth: Bianca Vergnaud, bvergnaud(at)clientearth.org, Tel: +32 (0)2 808 34 72

 

How you can help

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.

Newsletter

Twice a month, EuroNatur provides you with the latest campaign and project information about Europe's natural heritage free of charge and at first hand.

News

New loggings and fires threaten the Domogled National Park

Tree felling is intruding further and further into the forest wilderness of the Domogled National Park at Valea Cernei in the southern Carpathian...

The European Green Belt: Nature conservation connects neighbours

++ The fall of the Berlin Wall marks the birth of the European Green Belt ++ Nature conservation along the former Iron Curtain as a Central European...

Murders in Romania's virgin forests shock public opinion

EuroNatur and Agent Green: Romania must intensify fight against mafia and corruption in forestry sector

ECJ Judgement: No Relaxation of Protection for Wolves

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has placed very tight constraints on the granting of permits allowing wolves to be shot. In their ruling on 10...

“Brave women of Kruščica” receive EuroNatur Award 2019

++ EuroNatur Award goes to dedicated river conservationists from Bosnia-Herzegovina ++ Dam boom threatens the last wild rivers of our continent ++

Another victory for free-flowing rivers inside Mavrovo National Park

++ Construction permits for two hydropower plants annulled after supervision by construction inspectorate ++

New figures: More wolf packs in Western Poland

++ Results of wolf monitoring show at least 95 settled packs ++ Sudetes are also wolf territory again ++

Romania: New inventory reveals huge and threatened natural forest treasure

EuroNatur and Agent Green: Europe must halt forest destruction in Romania

New report: hydropower subsidies wreak environmental havoc and line influential pockets in the Western Balkans

Disproportionate public subsidies for small hydropower in the Western Balkans have resulted in widespread environmental damage and have benefited...

Bridge blocked - river saved - honoured with EuroNatur Award

++ EuroNatur Award 2019 goes to the “brave women of Kruščica" ++ Bridge occupied for over 500 days to block construction of hydropower plants ++ Award...

Ulcinj Salina is now a Ramsar site

We were delighted that, after years of delay, Ulcinj Salina in Montenegro was declared a natural park at the end of June. Now the saltpans on the...

EU-Commission urged to protect Europe's last natural forests from illegal logging

Environmental organisations EuroNatur, Agent Green and ClientEarth have advanced their fight against illegal logging of old-growth and primeval...

Remembering, reviewing and looking ahead: 30 years breakdown of the Iron Curtain

Impulse for a big project: European Green Belt should become UNESCO-world heritage

Power lines: Fatal for migratory birds

++ Autumn migration has begun ++ Overhead powerlines cause the death of millions of migratory birds worldwide ++ International campaign to protect...

“Brave Women of Kruščica” honoured for river protection

++ River conservationists from Bosnia-Herzegovina receive EuroNatur Award 2019 ++ Energy companies want to exploit the last wild rivers of Europe, but...

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