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 proceedings.

Logging-site in the Romanian Carpathians.

© Matthias Schickhofer

Thomas Waitz, Member of the European Parliament, and Gabriel Paun, President of Agent Green, have been on a field mission in Romania checking Natura 2000 sites for compliance with EU Natura 2000 legislation. Gabriel Paun and Thomas Waitz reported that they witnessed destructive and illegal logging on locations that are theoretically protected by EU’s Natura 2000 legislation, including Domogled-Valea Cernei National Park.

There, they even discovered logging by the state-owned forest company Romsilva on a state-owned property on which the Bucharest High Court suspended all logging permits earlier this year. In other words: state-paid foresters are pushing forward cutting down of state-owned trees in a national park and Natura 2000 site despite the country’s Supreme Court suspending the forest management plans in the part of the very forest district. At the same time, the European Commission is pursuing infringement proceedings against the Romanian state after EuroNatur, Client Earth and Agent Green filed complaints about the systematic destruction of forests in Romania’s Natura 2000 areas and illegal logging.

Thomas Waitz and Gabriel Paun did also trace a wood truck from the Natura 2000 Ținutul Pădurenilor site to the factory of Austrian chipboard company Kronospan in Sebes. Kronospan, the world’s largest chipboard producer, claims on the respective website: “We ensure that suppliers do not use wood from national parks, natural preserves, virgin forests and other conservation areas.” This is apparently in severe contradiction to the recent observations. The yard of Kronospan factory is filled with logs from large trees, mainly beech.

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