EuroNatur and Agent Green: unacceptable incompetence by state forest administration “Romsilva” and director of national park
Trailer “Out of Control”:
Episode #2: Semenic National Park:
Most of the EU’s last primeval forests are found in Romania. But they are under immediate threat from ongoing commercial logging, even in national parks and Natura 2000 areas, environmental NGOs EuroNatur and Agent Green claim. Now the NGOs publish the second episode of the investigative video documentary online series “Out of Control”, showing evidence that the forest administration “Romsilva” is not capable of protecting primeval forests in Semenic Cheile Carașului Nationalpark.
Bucharest/Radolfzell, 19 December 2017: An investigative video published by Romanian NGO Agent Green exposes scandalous devastations of old-growth forest in Domogled National Park by massive logging, which had even been officially authorised. However, the responsible state forest administration Romsilva issued a media statement playing down the scale of destruction of old-growth forest, speaking of allegedly “necessary logging”. In neighbouring Semenic-Cheile Caraşului National Park, which was established to protect the EU’s largest primeval beech forest, deforestations already encroached on a strictly protected nature reserve.
Gabriel Paun, president of Agent Green, is heavily criticising the state forest administration, which is in charge of nearly all Romanian national parks. Paun expects environment minister Gavrilescu to intervene: “Obviously, Romsilva is neither willing nor able to protect our most important natural treasures. Instead, state forest officials seem to be interested primarily in profit, even with regard to the national parks’ paradise forests. Brutal deforestations are simply being covered up or legalised.”
When the Semenic national park’s advisory board spoke up against nature destruction in 2016, its members were dismissed, its former chair said.
A new investigative video by Agent Green shows the forest director justifying the brutal deforestations in Romsilva’s Semenic National Park by claiming that thinning out the primeval forests was necessary to support rejuvenation. The disclosure was made as part of the campaign “SaveParadiseForests”. It was broadcasted in by Antena 3, a Romanian private TV channel, and widely discussed in the public.
Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of nature conservation foundation EuroNatur, is shocked by the destruction of this European natural heritage: “It’s absolutely unacceptable that Europe’s last big primeval forests in Romania are being wiped out by state institutions. The incompetence of state-employed national park forest officials is unbearable: Old-growth forests with deadwood are not ‘sick’ and do not need chainsaws to ‘get light’.”
Gabriel Schwaderer expects to European Commission to intervene immediately, like it did in the case of Białowieża primeval forest in Poland. “The scale of destruction is breathtaking. In Romania, we are confronted with the worst nature conservation crisis in present-day Europe. If Europe continues to just stand aside and look, these forests will be largely lost within two to three years.”
Download – Background-Dossier (in English):
BACKGROUND-DOSSIER – OUT OF CONTROL – The tragedy of logging in Romania’s national parks