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 Mountains. Serious forest fires have destroyed valuable areas in one of the most important natural landscapes of the EU.

Fresh cutting in primary beech forest at the boundary of Iauna Craiova UNESCO World Heritage Site © Alexandru Teleaga
The forest burns not only in the Amazon and Indonesia, but also in Europe. © Alexandru Teleaga

At the beginning of November, hikers discovered areas of the primeval forest which had been newly felled right on the border of the core zone of the UNESCO area, known as “Launa Craiova”. It had evidently been approved of by the National Park administration, and further beech trees had already been marked for felling.

“A reprimand from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, our complaint lodged with the European Commission and the considerable media attention as a result of the murder of the two foresters have all increased the pressure on the authorities in Romania at all levels”, said EuroNatur Executive director Gabriel Schwaderer. “We expect the new government in Bucharest to take seriously EU conservation law and international conventions for the protection of the unique natural heritage in Romania”, he continued.

In addition to the brutal clear felling, the Domogled National Park is threatened by another danger, namely forest fires. At the end of October, a volunteer of our Romanian partner organisation Agent Green discovered the fires whilst hiking. Despite several attempt to get a response from the responsible authorities, virtually no action was taken. The impression is that authorities are ignoring the massive threats to the forests and the local villages. It was not until last week that rain finally put out the fires.

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