European Court of Justice ruling on Bialowieza: EU must also take action in Romania

Bialowieza: EuroNatur and Agent Green welcome ruling of European Court of Justice and call for forest aid in Romania

A nature conservation drama is taking place in the Romanian Carpathians, as here in Domogled National Park, largely unnoticed by the public. © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur

Radolfzell/Bucharest. The final decision by the European Court of Justice is clear: The logging approved in Polands Bialowieza Forest is not legal. The widespread impact of logging on natural forest habitats and protected species in the Natura 2000 site is not compatible with European law. EuroNatur and Agent Green welcome the binding decision by the supreme court, which cannot be countered legally by Poland any more. “This is a major success for all defenders of Europe’s last primeval and old growth forests,“ Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive Director of EuroNatur Foundation, said.

EuroNatur Foundation and Agent Green take this opportunity to highlight the even bigger disaster, happening in Romania, where two thirds of Europe’s last virgin forests are located - and being logged systematically and in front of the eyes of the Romanian government. “We call on the EU institutions to immediately take action to stop the disastrous devastation of the EU’s largest remains of primeval forests in Romania. The dimension of the forest drama in Romania exceeds the Polish case by far - and almost nobody is aware of this“, Schwaderer said.

“The EU institutions have been watching the ongoing forest drama in Romania for too long already. This is Europe’s biggest nature crisis - and needs an urgent response,“ Gabriel Paun, president of the Romanian environmental NGO Agent Green said, „large scale logging and destruction of old forest stands in Natura 2000 sites is breaking European law. The Romanian government is not halting logging of primeval forests in national parks and other protected areas. On the contrary, the logging has increased in the past few years continuously. Therefore an EU infringement procedure following the Polish case is to be expected“, Paun said.

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 and Agent Green.

Contact information:
Agent Green: Gabriel Paun, E-Mail: gabriel.paun(at)agentgreen.org, Tel.: +43 6641850717
EuroNatur: Anja Arning, E-Mail: anja.arning(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 13

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