All posts by Janinka Lutze

Colourful protests outside Romanian parliament call for protection of virgin forests

On Sunday and Monday, 19th and 20th May 2019, environmentalists from EuroNatur and Agent Green joined with citizens of Bucharest to welcome EU Environment Ministers to Bucharest.

On Sunday, residents of the city, young and old, came together to paint the sidewalk in front of the enormous Romanian parliament building (one of the largest buildings in the world) with pictures and inscriptions calling for the protection of Romania’s magnificent forests. Their messages read that  forests are important habitat, they provide clean air and fresh water and are critical to combat climate change.

With the EU election less than a week away, they showed that it is important to vote and that the EU can and should do a lot to more to ensure the last virgin and old-growth forests of the EU are permanently protected.

Romania’s most famous street artist painted a huge picture in the square right in front of Parliament.

Giant street art and banner calling for forest protection outside Romanian Parliament.

On Monday, activists welcomed EU environment ministers who were meeting in the Parliament. with a banner and a television footage showing the loss from logging in Romania’s forests. A bear held a banner showing a large clear-cut forest with the words “Welcome to Romania” highlighting the situation in the country.

Pedestrians, car drivers and bus passengers all showed their support for forest protection. Passersby stopped, cars honked their horns, and people waved from buses and passenger seats. It was clear that Bucharest residents want to see their forest protected.

For the animals that call these forests home, including bears, wolves and lynx, for the protection of the climate and for all future generations – many young kids who painted on the sidewalk – these forests deserve immediate protection..

We call on the Romanian government with the support of the EU to act quickly to permanently protect these crown jewels of European natural heritage.

Auch kleine Waldfans halfen mit

Briefing paper: Romania’s virgin forests — turning tragedy into prosperity

 

A new briefing paper by EuroNatur and Agent Green was published on May 15th 2019.
Romania still hosts thousands of hectares of potential virgin and old-growth forests. Besides their outstanding value as habitat to many species, including wolfs and bears, they play an important role for climate regulation. But still they are being logged in a rapid speed, even in protected areas. The briefing paper gives a good background to the values and threads of these forests, which timber companies profit most from the excessive use and it names necessary measures for the forest´s protection.

 

You can download the leaflet here:

Logging Out – Romania´s virgin Forests – turning tragedy into prosperity

 

 

 

International Appeal: Protect Romania’s virgin forests permanently!

 

Joint press release
April 12th, 2019

Press release Today, Romanian, German and international environmental protection organisations call for a joint appeal to permanently protect potential virgin and old-growth forests in Romania and to prevent the logging of trees in strictly protected areas. The appeal is addressed to the Romanian Minister for the Environment and Deputy Prime Minister, Gratiela Leocadia Gavrilescu, the Romanian Minister for Forests, Ioan Deneș, as well as to the head of the Romanian state forest manager Romsilva, Gheorghe Mihailescu. Romania currently holds the EU Presidency.

Romania’s forests preserve outstanding European natural heritage. They safeguard biological diversity and store enormous amounts of carbon, thus they help to stabilise the global climate. They are also home to numerous endemic species and provide refuge for European brown bears, wolves and lynxes.

Many of these forests are located in protected areas such as national parks, biosphere reserves and Natura 2000 sites. The EU Habitats Directive prohibits the deterioration of protected habitats and species within these.

Since the ruling of the European Court of Justice on the Polish Bialowieza area, it has become clear that the deforestation of species-rich old forests in Natura 2000 sites is not compatible with the EU nature conservation directives. Nevertheless, intensive commercial forestry is carried out in such areas as well as in national parks and in the buffer zones of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Romania.

The Romanian nature conservation organisation Agent Green and the internationally active EuroNatur Foundation possess leaked information from the second National Forest Inventory, which is still only partially published. This information shows that the average annual felling in Romania is 38 million cubic metres of wood, but only 18 million cubic metres are covered by approved forest management plans. Evidently, there is a massive and nationwide problem with corruption and illegal practices in Romanian forestry.

The state-owned forest mananger Romsilva administers 12 out of 13 national parks. It therefore has a special responsibility to comply with nature conservation obligations.

The undersigned environmental organisations call for a fundamental change in Romanian forest policy to be necessary. In particular, they call for the comprehensive implementation of the EU nature directives. Management plans for protected areas must be adapted in such a way that the protection of all natural and potential virgin forests is guaranteed in a good state of conservation. Unprotected primary and natural forest areas urgently need to be included in the corresponding national catalogue. In addition, independent national park administrations are required, which are primarily committed to nature conservation objectives, as well as public basic financing for national parks.

The appeal is signed by representatives of the following environmental organisations:
AgentGreen (Romania), BUND – Friends Of The Earth Germany, BUND Naturschutz in Bayern, EuroNatur Stiftung, Fern, Forum Ecology and Paper, Forum Environment and Development, Friends Of The Earth Europe (FoEE), international young naturefriends, NaturFreunde Deutschland, Pro Regenwald, Rainforest Rescue and ROBIN WOOD.

Link to the complete statement on the protection of Romanian primeval and natural forests.

 

forest in Fagaras mountains