Romanian forests: EuroNatur calls for a logging moratorium

+++ Open letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius calls for a logging moratorium in protected areas to end destruction of Romanian forests +++ Fourth anniversary of complaint against Romania on illegal logging +++ Enormous dimension of logging in Romania’s primary and old-growth forests despite ongoing infringement procedure +++

Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 site, Romania

Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 site: drone photo which demonstrates several clear cuts.

© Agent Green
Maramures Natura 2000 site, Romania

Drone photo of Maramures Natura 2000 site Repedea Valley, taken in March 2023, showing new logging roads.

© EuroNatur

Radolfzell, Bucharest. In an open letter sent to Commissioner Sinkevičius today, the conservation organisation, EuroNatur, together with its Romanian and legal partners, Agent Green and Client Earth, call for a logging moratorium on Romania’s primary and old-growth forests. The 10th of September marked four years since the organisations first alerted the European Commission of the destruction of protected forests in Romania. Yet, logging in Romanian protected areas is still prevalent despite the European Commission opening an infringement procedure against Romania in 2020.

“It’s outrageous that Romania has been allowed to log protected trees without batting an eye,” says Gabriel Paun, President of Agent Green. “If a moratorium is not imposed in Romanian protected areas, these ancient forests will completely disappear in 10 to 15 years.”

Annette Spangenberg, Head of Conservation at EuroNatur, asserts, “This is a big scandal because, despite the vital role primary and old-growth forests play as crucial habitats for climate and biodiversity preservation, they face ongoing and irreversible destruction."

In recent years, field investigations have shown that vast areas have been destroyed. Drone footage of forests demonstrates that forests over 150 years old, in extremely remote locations and typically inaccessible by people, have been logged. In the last two years, only looking at 0.01% of logging permits, already showed that more than 60,000 cubic meters of trees were removed within five protected areas with the total size of about 517,009 hectares – equivalent to 420 football fields. A recent report indicates that even more logging was approved in some areas than before the EU Commission opened the infringement procedure.

“We assume that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The problem is systemic,” says Susanne Schmitt, Forest Project Manager at EuroNatur. “During these four years, we realised that the issue would not be resolved nationally or by conversations with the Romanian Government. It’s high time the Commission took this matter to the European Court of Justice.”


Background information:

  • Following the EU complaint by the NGOs EuroNatur, Agent Green and Client Earth, the European Commission opened an infringement procedure against Romania in February 2020, demanding Romanian authorities immediately stop the illegal logging of primary and old-growth forests in Natura 2000 sites. Although the facts clearly show that the destruction continues unabated, as, for example, the results of the latest report by Agent Green and EuroNatur demonstrate, Commissioner Sinkevičius has yet to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.
  • Romania still has more than 525,000 hectares of potential old-growth and primary forests, which is more than any other EU member state (outside Scandinavia).
  • Around 300,000 hectares of Romanian woods are listed as Natura 2000 sites. Many protected animals, such as bears, wolves, lynxes, black storks, owls, woodpeckers, bats and beetles, depend on them for survival.
  • The campaign “SaveParadiseForests“ aims at protecting the most valuable primary and old-growth forests of the Carpathians, particularly Romania. It is jointly coordinated and carried out by the NGOs EuroNatur (Germany) and Agent Green (Romania).


Open letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius from September 11, 2023, amongst others, calling for a moratorium on logging in protected areas in Romania.

EuroNatur: Anika Konsek, anika.konsek(at), phone: +49 (0)7732 - 92 72 26
Agent Green: Gabriel Paun, gabriel.paun(at)


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