Old-growth forests destroyed rapidly in Romania

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Still untouched primeval beech forest in the Făgăraş Mountains.

© © Matthias Schickhofer
<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Up to 6000-year-old forests are now being cut down ruthlessly in the Făgăraş Mountains.

© Matthias Schickhofer

Recent cases in the Strâmbei Valley and in the Şinca Forest (Făgăraş Mountains)

Violation of both Romanian and EU laws

 

Press release, 17 May 2016


Radolfzell. Although all primeval forests are strictly protected by law in Romania since 2008, they are still being destroyed. The most recent case discovered in the Făgăraş Mountains is particularly grave, as logging takes place in regions that are known to the authorities as primeval forests since 2005: in the Şinca Forest and in adjacent Strâmbei Valley.

Part of the Şinca virgin forest has been nominated a World Natural Heritage Site in February 2016 as part of Europe-wide nominations of primeval beech forests to the UNESCO. Current logging activities in the Şinca virgin forest are not only violating Romanian law, but also cast a bad light on the forest’s – otherwise highly commendable – nomination as a natural heritage of mankind. Further, World Natural Heritage Sites are subject to strict requirements, including regarding impacts on the surrounding areas and buffer zones.

The international nature conservation foundation EuroNatur considers the logging activities to also seriously violate existing EU conservation legislation. Both areas are part of the Natura 2000 site Făgăraş, which aims at preserving natural forest ecosystems. EuroNatur is calling on the Romanian government to immediately meet national and EU legal provisions by ensuring that all primeval forests in Romania be save from destruction. In the Făgăraş Mountains alone, several thousand hectares of unique virgin forests are at stake.

“The ongoing destruction of old-growth forests in Romania is subject to debates for more than a decade. Now the interim government led by prime minister Dacian Cioloş has to take immediate and resolute action to stop this disaster”, demands Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of EuroNatur. “We urgently need a moratorium on any logging activities in all areas that potentially contain primeval forests. Otherwise it is to be feared that Romania’s unique natural heritage will be irrecoverably destroyed within the next few years.” There are a lot of inconsistencies relating to the protection of primeval forests in Romania. “It is a mystery to us, why only parts of the primeval forests in the Şinca-Strâmbei area were nominated as a World Heritage Site. It would have been consistent to safeguard the whole old-growth forest complex as a world heritage of humanity”, says Gabriel Schwaderer.

These activities that severely damage the European natural heritage have been revealed by photographer and EuroNatur partner Matthias Schickhofer. Over the Pentecost weekend he travelled these areas to photographically document some of the most impressive primeval forests of Europe. Matthias Schickhofer communicated the following coordinates of logging activities:

  • logging bordering the projected UNESCO World Heritage Site: 45.659921, 25.168471
  • this is the Şinca primeval forest that has been nominated to UNESCO: 45.665514, 25.166808
  • logging in adjacent Strâmbei Valley: 45.666234, 25.125813
  • old-growth forest in the western part of Strâmbei Valley: 45.660670, 25.126382


For further information: EuroNatur, Konstanzer Str. 22, 78315 Radolfzell, Tel.: +49/7732 - 92 72 10, Fax: +49/7732 - 92 72 22, E-Mail: katharina.grund@euronatur.org, Internet: www.euronatur.org, contact person: Gabriel Schwaderer, press contact: Katharina Grund



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

Protection of some primary forests announced – shortly before national elections

After years of bureaucratic burdens some iconic primary forest – such as Boia Mica valley in Fagaras Mountains – are finally protected. However,...

Wolf population in West Poland still not secure despite growth in numbers

A long-term study on the spread of wolves into West Poland, which has just been published, makes clear that, despite the continuing growth in numbers...

Digger for Ulcinj Salina ended up in the scrap metal

In 2004 EuroNatur provided a grant for a digger to carry out conservation work at Ulcinj Salina, particularly for the maintenance of dams and dykes....

Legal victory for Romania's forests

For a long time, the Romanian authorities and the Romsilva State Forest Administration kept environmentally relevant information in forest management...

Ionian island paradise under threat

The north-east end of Corfu, close to the Albanian mainland, is the Erimitis Peninsula. It has been spared from mass tourism until now and can only be...

Dams on Neretva river: Complaint submitted to Bern Convention

++ NGOs submit a complaint to the Bern Convention against Bosnia and Herzegovina for permitting dam-building on the pristine upper Neretva ++ A...

Slovene Government planning to expand hydroelectric power

A series of hydroelectric power stations are planned to be built along the River Save in Slovenia; the government in Ljubljana has granted several...

Witnessing illegal logging by Romanian state forests

Fact-finding trip by Thomas Waitz, MEP with Agent Green reveals that illegal logging in Natura 2000 areas continues regardless of EU infringement...

2020 EuroNatur Award for tenacious opponents of pesticides

++ This year’s EuroNatur Prize is awarded to the South Tyrol village of Mals ++ Nationally well-known through their campaigning for a ban on...

Nature conservation essential for EU accession

Hydropower, deforestation, biodiversity: The Commission's report on the EU candidate countries sets out clear requirements for nature conservation.

European Green Belt: Nature conservation connects neighbours

++ 30 years since German reunification ++ Conservation of the natural world along the former Iron Curtain as a Central European peace project ++

Pesticide-free zone for sustainable agriculture

++ EuroNatur 2020 award goes to Mals in South Tyrol ++ Opponents of pesticides repeatedly face legal action ++ Award ceremony with a difference this...

BREAKING NEWS: Albanian PM Rama reacts – Kalivaç will not be built

In a reaction to the statement of Albanian President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced to the media today that he also is in favor of...

Alliance against Kalivaç dam on the Vjosa is growing

++ Vjosa Research Centre in Tepelena inaugurated ++ Scientists refute Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Kalivaç hydropower plant ++ Albanian...

Deadline expired: Protect rivers consistently now

Conservation organizations are demanding a moratorium on the construction of small hydro power plants from the government of the Federation of Bosnia...