#SaveParadiseForests-Campaign: Activists stopp Wood Trucks

Agent Green activists, scientists and mountaineers stop logging trucks in Romania to raise alarm about paradise forest destruction +++ Forest protectors call for a logging moratorium in primary forests and urge the Government to prevent a new law abolishing fines for primary forest destruction

The German scientist Professor Dr. Hannes D. Knapp, Member of the Presidium of EuroNatur © Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur
In the Romanian Carpathians there are the last paradise forests of Europe, as in the Fagaras mountains © Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur
Romania's virgin forests disappear at a breathtaking pace, even in NATURA 2000 areas © Matthias Schickhofer / EuroNatur
With banners against the exploitation © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur
Also on this truck load there are old beech stems - tagged with angry looking smileys by the activists © Matthias Schickhofer/EuroNatur

Joint Press Release by EuroNatur and Agent Green from 03 March 2017

 

Vidraru, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, March 10, 2017. 30 paradise forest protectors from six EU countries including scientists and mountaineers stopped logging trucks this morning preventing them from transporting virgin forest timber out of the Vidraru basin. The area is one of Europe's most valuable stands of primary forests remains. The forest protectors installed special rescue tents to occupy trees and unfolded large banners stating: "Save Europe's last Paradise Forests".

Agent Green, EuroNatur, scientists and Romanian mountaineers call on the Romanian Government to immediately establish a logging moratorium for all potential primary forests, in particular on state property and in national parks.

Gabriel Paun, CEO of the environmental NGO Agent Green said: “We urge the Ministry for Waters and Forestry to make this topic the priority of year 2017!”

"As an initiator of the inclusion of Europe's last virgin beech forests into the UNESCO World Heritage list, I stand for these last paradise forests - not only with my scientific work, but today also with my own body at the site of destruction. These forests are of an outstanding global natural heritage and must not be destroyed”, said Professor Hannes Knapp from Germany, Member of Presiding Committee of the EuroNatur Foundation.

Two thirds of Europe’s last primary forests are found in Romania. An inventory of the last virgin forests, published in the year 2004 by independent researchers, identified more than 200.000 hectares of primary woodlands. However, in the last 12 years many thousands of hectares of paradise forests have been logged down, to a large extent illegally. The Romanian government has not taken sufficient action to stop this environmental disaster. Today it is unclear how much primary forest is still left, because recent Governments have not been monitoring the development thoroughly.

The remote Fagaras mountain range is one of Europe’s most important wilderness hot spots. According to a field inventory by Greenpeace in 2016 more than a third of the old growth forests in upper Vidraru area have been destroyed in the past years. Forests around Vidraru lake were preserved well until the most recent logging campaigns because of national security interests: they play a vital role in the protection of the Vidraru hydro-energetic complex. Thus the progressing forest destruction also poses a severe risk to humans.

"We are deeply concerned. We cannot afford to lose another hectare of these last paradise places. Maybe the Government will finally take action now as that abusive logging is also threatening national security. We will stay here until the forest minister, Mrs. Adriana Petcu, commits to primary forest protection", said Gabriel Paun.

"Most EU countries realised too late the crucial importance of primary forests for the future of life. Now almost all of them are gone. Our research team has been conducting scientific studies in numerous Romanian paradise forests. With our research we also want to support preserving what remains in Romania. Each year, we bear witness to massive forest destruction. This destruction must end now! We should not lose the life's bridge between the past and the future,” said Martin Mikoláš of the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences.

"Like many other colleagues I trained in the wilderness of these mountains to become one of Romania's leading professional mountaineers, reaching unexplored peaks of the Himalayas. I join the forest protectors today to help save what's left of this paradise that we are so proud of”, said Zsolt Torok, the Romanian mountaineer of the year 2016.

Despite the strong civil society anti corruption protests which have been evolving in Romania since several weeks there has been an lobby initiative by forest owners and forest industry in the Romanian parliament recently to decriminalise - among others - logging of primary forests. Agent Green, EuroNatur and the forest protectors urge both the Romanian Government and the political parties in the Parliament to halt that disastrous law, which would accelerate forest destruction and add to the reputation damage of the Romanian State. Instead of widening the road for illegal forest destruction the fines should be increased drastically.

Background information:

The campaign “SaveParadiseForests” aims to protect the most valuable old-growth forests of the Carpathian Mountains, particularly in Romania. It is jointly coordinated and carried out by EuroNatur and Agent Green. Read more at www.saveparadiseforests.org

International petition to protect Romania’s paradise forests 

Images from the protest action can be downloaded here 

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

Hope for Ulcinj Salina

Will the years of campaigning by EuroNatur and its partners for the placing under protection of Ulcinj Salina finally be rewarded? During the...

International appeal to support the brave women of Kruščica

Women wanted: A global appeal to women to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina on 28 April to occupy for an evening a bridge as part of the Blue Heart...

New Study: Hydropower development puts Europe’s fish paradise at risk

The Balkan rivers host 113 rare and protected fish species. If the hydropower development is carried out as planned, about 10 percent of all European...

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

Bird conservationists fight for a safe Adriatic Flyway

++ Bird migration in full swing ++ Numerous birds fall victim to poachers in the Balkans ++ Third Adriatic Flyway Conference meets in Serbia ++

Countdown is on for photo competition

Hurry up now! Just ten more days left before the deadline of the photo competition “Europe’s Natural Treasures” which is celebrating its 25th...

International banks fuelling a hydropower tsunami that’s decimating pristine Balkan rivers – study

Multilateral development banks have supported no fewer than 82 hydropower projects across southeast Europe, including in protected areas, according to...

By Bike across the European Union

Two enthusiastic cyclists, five months, 11,000 kilometres: Paul Baumgärtner und Noah Kramer are experiencing the European Union in the most literal...

Timber companies dissociate from sourcing wood from Romanian national parks and primeval forests

EuroNatur and Agent Green investigate traceability of wood ++ International timber companies call on Romanian government to clarify legal situation ++...

Reunited with Maya

On 18 March last year, a female Balkan lynx called Maya was fitted with a tracking device. Over the past year, this has been providing scientists from...

Albania plans to build airport in protected area

New international airport to be constructed in Narta Lagoon ++ Albanian parliament approved the project yesterday ++ EuroNatur and its partners call...

Salt is Life: Abandonment of Ulcinj Salina harms avifauna

++ EuroNatur calls for immediate protection of the saline in Ulcinj, Montenegro ++ Resuming salt production would open perspectives for both birds and...

Numerous birds of prey and corvids poisoned in Serbia

Recently, a rare imperial eagle was found poisoned in Northern Serbia – the eagle had fallen victim to a meat bait. While searching for the animal,...

Construction works on the Jiu hydroelectric power plant still going on

It is scandalous: The romanian appeals court declared the building permission of the Jiu hydroelectric plant several times, lately in December....

Hydroelectric power station on the River Jiu halted for the time being

Encouraging news for the Romanian River Jiu: the building permit has been declared null and void by the courts. As a result the Jiu may continue to...

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