Romania: Stopp Logging National Parks

++ Protest action in the wilderness of Domogled National Park draws public attention to environmental drama in the Carpathians ++

During their protest action in Domogled National Park, the activists used huge banners to draw attention to the overexploitation of the primeval forests. © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur
Sight Visiting of the area where the illegal logging takes place (from left: Dragos Mihai, Director of Nature Conservation of Romsilva; Thomas Waitz, MEP; Gabriel Paun, Agent Green; Mihai Gotiu, Romanian Senator) © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur

Radolfzell, Bucharest. On Saturday May 26th, 25 activists from different regions in Romania raised protest against the ongoing destruction of primeval forests in the middle of Domogled – Valea Cernei National Park. They presented hand banners and unfolded two large banners measuring 100 m2 each from the edge of steep cliffs with the message “Romania: Stop Logging National Parks” (in both English and Romanian languages). The aim of the action was to raise international attention on the widely unknown fact that primeval and old growth forests are being deliberately degraded and destroyed in Romania’s national parks. This is the biggest natural destruction crisis in Europe today.Romania hosts the biggest share of the EU’s primeval and natural forests remains.

The activists confronted managers of Romania’s state forestry enterprise, Romsilva, which manages 12 Romanian national parks, with an urgent call to immediately halt logging and to comply with international standards in Domogled and all the other national parks. Members of the Romanian and the European Parliament, Senator Mihai Gotiu and MEP Thomas Waitz, were witnesses of the action. MEP Thomas Waitz conducted a fact-finding mission in Domogled National Park at the end of last week at the invitation of environmental NGOs EuroNatur and Agent Green.

At least 382.000 m3 of wood have been commercially cut from national parks in the last year alone according to SUMAL, Romania’s central database for forests and logging. Domogled National Park is Romania’s largest national park and was the most affected by logging in the past 10 years. At least 123.000 tons of wood were logged in this park alone in the past year. Less than 50% of its forests have been included in the strictly protected nature zone. Commercially motivated logging, conducted by professional logging companies, is omnipresent. Romsilva had approved the logging of numerous old stands. In spring 2017 logging in the last untouched valleys in Cernisoara forest department within the Domogled National Park was commenced.

“The Environmental Ministry still has no answer to people’s wish and scientists calls to preserve the highly valuable forest treasures inRomania’s national parks. Although these forests cover just 1% of the country’s surface, they mean the world to thousands of different, and mostly threatened, species and they are home to Europe’s last large primeval forests and brown bears, wolves and lynx. Political talks have failed, so we have to raise our voices here at the site of destruction, in the wounded forests, to alert both the public and European institutions”, said Gabriel Paun, founder of Agent Green.The forthcoming drama of destruction of Cernisoara primeval forest highlights the systemic malfunction of Romania’s national park management.

“Ancient trees in the wild valleys behind these banners are already marked for logging. All Romanian National Parks are also designated as European Natura 2000 sites. Deterioration and degradation of natural stands is meant to be prohibited according to the EU’s NatureDirectives. Numerous biodiversity rich forests in Romania’s national parks are not protected at all, as the so called ‚buffer zones‘‚ do not differ at all from ordinary intensive forestry areas outside national parks. National parks are not there to enhance the economy of Romania’s state forest enterprise but rather to comply with international conservation standards and the Romanian national park law. Romania’s old growth forests do not need ‚sanitary logging‘, but sanitation for the conservation of natural forests. The natural forest drama in Romania by far exceeds the size of logging in Polands Bialowieza forest. We call on the EU Commission to take urgent action to prevent further violations of EU legislation”, said Matthias Schickhofer, senior advisor at international Foundation EuroNatur.

Currently, none of the 13 national parks meet the IUCN recommendations and Romania has no road map to achieve this. On the contrary, the surface of non-intervention zones was reduced significantly in a number of national parks. “This trend is terrifying. Not just Romania, but the whole EU is losing extremely valuable natural treasures. If in Europe, we all fail to stop this drama, most of our last paradise forests will be gone soon. And forever”, Paun concluded.

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.

Videomaterial: Here you can see a video of the protest: https://vimeo.com/272521422

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

Do you want to 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.

News

North Macedonia: No-go zones for hydropower projects must be designated

++ NGOs, government representatives, experts, hydropower developers and the local community discuss challenges and solutions at an international...

Thousands of white storks are the victims of illegal hunting

++ The migration season is now in full flow ++ Every year there are 25 million birds killed illegally, including thousands of white storks ++...

Photo competition 2019 enters the home straight

The countdown has started: March 31 is the deadline of the photo competition „European treasures of Nature 2019”.

375,386 citizens call for strong EU legislation to protect water

Over the past months, an alliance of numerous European environmental and nature conservation associations have promoted broad participation in a...

Balkan Rivers in the European Parliament

The Blue Heart team presented the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers in the European Parliament in Brussels at the event “Save the Balkan Rivers:...

Reintroduced cinereous vulture poisoned in Greece

Cinereous vulture Ostrava, previously released into the wild in Bulgaria, has been found dead in south-west Greece. It is very likely that the young...

Milestone bank summit in Belgrade for protecting Balkan rivers

++ More transparency needed in financing hydropower ++ Meeting of banks and activists a step towards protecting Balkan rivers ++

Albania fails to comply with Energy Community Law

++ NGOs file complaint against Albania ++ Hydropower projects on Vjosa river clearly breach Energy Community rules ++

Plans for hydropower plants on the Mura halted

Good news for the Mura: Slovenian Environment Minister Jure Leben has called a halt to the construction of all planned hydropower plants on the Mura...

Back to Freedom

At the beginning of February, our Greek partners at MOm released a young Mediterranean monk seal back into the Aegean Sea. Prior to that, they had...

The protection of the Ulcinj Salina is a precondition of Montenegro’s membership of the EU

++ The EU demands that Montenegro protect Ulcinj Salina ++ February 2nd is World Wetlands Day ++

Bat Count 2019

There are a lot of chilled out bats hanging around at the moment in the Frankfurt Ostquell Brewery: Bat conservationists are taking advantage of the...

Counter shows forest destruction of Romanian virgin forests in real time

++ Romanian EU Presidency 2019: Eyes on Romania - and the virgin forest destruction ++ EuroNatur and Agent Green call on Romania and EU to turn...

On a voyage of discovery in Europe's nature

International photo competition “Europe’s Natural Treasures 2019” is starting

Poisoning threatens Vulture Populations in the Balkans

In the last twenty years at least 465 vultures in the Balkans have fallen victim to poisoning. This is the alarming conclusion of a study which has...

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