Among all EU citizens, Romanians show strongest attachment to forests and their protection
On May 21, 2019, the international non governmental organization Fern (Brussels) published a new YouGov survey documenting the very high importance of forest conservation for the EU population: 87 percent of EU respondents favour new laws to combat global forest destruction.
The majority of respondents say that neither their national governments (66 percent) nor the EU (61 percent) do enough to fight global deforestation. 91% of Europeans and 96% of people in Romania are concerned about forests and wildlife. 88% of respondents in Romania said that their government is not doing enough to combat global forest destruction.
Romanians show a clear lead with 82% of people “strongly agree” with the statement “I really care about forests & wildlife”— by far the highest in the EU, noticeably higher than other countries.
Also, in Romania, 86% of people “strongly agree” with the statement “Deforestation is harmful to the people and wildlife that live in the affected areas”. This is a much higher score than in other countries, suggesting most Romanians are very much aware of and concerned about the enormous level of forest destruction occurring in their country.
In Slovakia, where forest destruction is also a major issue in the public, it was 69% of people agreeing with this statement, one of the highest in the EU (alongside Bulgaria and Spain)
This results show that people are much more eager to care about forests when they actually still have them in their country – as in Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, which still have significant tracts of natural forests.
Furthermore, the numbers went strongly against the common stereotype that it is only “wealthier” people who care about the environment: the countries with the lowest levels of people saying they “strongly agreed” with “I really care about forest & wildlife” were German, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
Also, in massively forested but wealthy countries like Sweden or Finland, the numbers were much lower than in forested but poorer countries like Romania, Slovakia & Bulgaria.
On 6th of May, the UN’s World Biodiversity Council – IPBES had cited climate protection as being of equally important than biodiversity preservation and restoration – in a seminal report warning about the threat of mass extinction and loss of natural ecosystems.
The IPBES results and the poll responses make clear, with a view to the forthcoming EU elections, that forest conservation is a an important piece of homework for the EU and its policies.
Thus it is very important to participate in the election to the European Parliament and to strengthen environmental protection and nature conservation in the EU.