More than 122,000 people are demanding the protection of the Romanian virgin forests

++ A petition with more than 122,000 signatures has been handed to two State Secretaries of Romania’s environment minister ++ Demand for comprehensive protection of the primary and old growth forests in the Carpathians ++

The petition was handed over this morning, 30 June 2020, in front of the Ministry of Environment in Bucharest.

© Laura Asmaranducai /Agent Green

Logging in Fagaras-Mountains: Once untouched mountain slopes in the Romanian Carpathians are now degraded.

© Agent Green

Radolfzell, Bucharest. More than 122,000 people, above all from Romania and other EU countries, are demanding that the Romanian Minister for the Environment, Water and Forests, Costel Alexe, provide effective protection for the forests. The demands in the petition, which was launched by EuroNatur and its Romanian partner Agent Green, are clear: effective protection of the forests in the protected areas, an immediate stop to deforestation for all potential primeval and natural forests, the setting up of a competent and publicly financed national park administration and the development of a national strategy for Ecotourism.

It was above all the recent scandals in the Rumanian forestry sector, such as the murder of two foresters in the course of the last year that drew public attention to the matter. The new EU Biodiversity Strategy unequivocally demands the effective protection of the last remaining ancient and natural forests in Europe.

Romania is the home to approximately two-thirds of all the primary and old growth forests in the EU (outside of Scandinavia). The PRIMOFARO Study, published in September 2019, identified more than half a million hectares of potential primary and old growth forests in Romania. Large parts of these forests are protected, at least on paper. However, these valuable ecosystems are still being deforested, mostly illegally. Large clear-felled areas have broken the continuity of the Carpathian forests, which are not only an essential habitat for many threatened plants and animals, but also represent a gigantic reservoir for CO2 storage.

“Above all, now that the European Commission has introduced a treaty infringement process against Romania as a result of our complaint, and that we have seen no clear measures on the part of the Romanian government, it is important to make clear how many people are expecting a change. We are in the middle of a global climate and biodiversity crisis. In order to combat this, the effective protection of all the virgin forests in the EU is absolutely essential. We therefore expect swift action from the Romanian government”, said Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive director of EuroNatur.

“Today we raise awareness on the forest´s huge natural importance and most of all on their urgently needed immediate protection. The Romanian government is responsible for this and must guarantee that European and Romanian legislation is respected and no logging or other destructive interventions of the ecosystem are is permitted. Therefore, we ask Mr Costel Alexe, the Environment Minster, to consider now the wiling of all the people that signed the petition and to act now for the protection of the paradise forests”, said Veronica Tulpan from Agent Green.


Background information:

Further enquiries: Anja Arning, anja.arning(at)euronatur.org, Tel. +49 7732 927213
 

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