Petition: Romania – save Europe’s last large virgin forests!

Europe’s last large tracts of virgin forests in Romania are being logged and destroyed before our eyes. This is a tragedy of epic proportions. Europe’s virgin forests need your urgent help now! Please sign the petition below and help spreading this call!

(To sign the petition in Romanian, please click here.)

Romania is home to the largest remnant stands of virgin forest in Europe. Yet, Romanian national parks and Natura 2000 sites are under siege. Rather than being places of outstanding beauty and nature conservation, chainsaws and bulldozers are logging and destroying enormous tracts of virgin forests that have stood for thousands of years. Therefore we need your help to stop the rapidly progressing destruction of virgin forests in Romania and to preserve this natural treasure! Now, before it’s too late.

In the first half of 2019, Romania holds the presidency of the EU Council. Europe will closely watch whether Romania is taking action to preserve Europe’s last great virgin forests for future generations!

We need to collect as many signatures as possible from all over Europe until end of February 2019 to be able to create a strong momentum whilst Romania holds the EU-Presidency.

Europe’s wild natural heritage needs your help! Please add your voice to the call for the immediate protection of these most precious forests in Romania. This petition will be delivered to the Romanian Prime Minister and forwarded to the Romanian Environmental Minister, the EU Commission and the European Parliament.

 

Romania: Save Europe’s last large virgin forests!

  

Dear Prime Minister of Romania,

We - citizens from Romania, Europe and the rest of the World - write to you out of grave concern for the loss of virgin forests of Romania. Europe’s last great tracts of virgin and natural forests are found in Romania, but they are currently being progressively destroyed by logging. Incomprehensibly, the designation of national parks and Natura 2000 sites provides no sufficient protection from the chainsaws and bulldozers.

National parks and Natura 2000 sites are there to preserve our most important natural treasures. Our generation has the responsibility to save them for future generations. They are carbon reserves, gene banks, scientific laboratories, oxygen factories and home for numerous threatened species, some found nowhere else on earth.

We demand your immediate intervention to put an end to this natural tragedy. The Romanian government needs to act now in accordance with its obligations to manage national parks and Natura 2000 sites for nature protection.

We respectfully request you to:

Immediately halt commercial logging in national parks
Place a moratorium on logging in all potential virgin forests in Romania and improve implementation of the virgin forest protection program
Ensure that virgin forests and forests with natural structures in all Natura 2000 sites are preserved in full compliance with EU legislation which prohibits deterioration of natural habitats and harm to protected species
Introduce new zoning regime to all national parks based on scientific criteria and include all virgin forests and forests with natural structures into core protection zones without any use
Eliminate all legal loop holes regarding the protection of virgin forests and develop a legal framework which is in line with the guidelines of IUCN for national park management. This needs to include non-intervention management on at least 75% of the surface of national parks, ban of commercial forest exploitation and set up a compensation mechanism for private and municipal forest owners.
Implement an entirely new and fully funded national park management administration, with a coherent and unitary responsibility to manage national parks for nature conservation
Establish new national parks to protect outstanding Romanian natural values, in particular in Țarcu, Ciucas, Giumalau and Făgăraș Mountains
Develop an integrated national strategy of ecotourism to ensure the conservation of national parks and to provide support for local communities.

Romania’s national parks and Natura 2000 sites are home to to some of Europe’s most important natural treasures. Their future is in your hands. You have the choice to show leadership that will be remembered for generations to come. We urge you to act for the good of all of us and protect them forever.

Sincerely,

**your signature**

12,645 signatures = 51% of goal
0
25,000

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Want to know more?

The situation is critical. At present:

Large scale commercial logging is targeting the last remaining virgin forests, many of which are found deep inside national parks and Natura 2000 sites.

Nature protection and conservation efforts are being overridden by Romania’s state forestry enterprise which turns the national park forests into logging sites. Local communities who depend on small subsistence wood collection for firewood are being robbed of their heating resource. Corruption is wide spread.

Existing management plans for Romania’s national parks are actually dominated by exploitation. Logging is even happening within strictly protected areas.

Although national park forests make up only 1% of the Romanian land surface, half of them are under threat from commercial logging, just like in production forests.

The volume of logging in Romania is unsustainable. Logging companies are cutting at a faster rate than the production forests can grow, pushing logging into the most precious natural forests remaining.

12 of Romania’s 13 national parks fail to meet the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) guidelines which call for at least 75% of the total surface area to be strictly protected.

The construction of logging roads and the indiscriminate dragging of logs is destroying huge areas of intact ecosystems including in river beds and is disturbing the habitat of sensitive wildlife.

Numerous areas still exist that deserve to be designated as national parks due to their outstanding natural values. These values will be lost if nothing is done to protect them from logging.

Logging in Romania’s protected areas is currently out of control. Urgent action is required! The Romanian government, with support from the EU, must show leadership to immediately stop the destruction and put in place a protected area management regime that will comprehensively protect – not destroy – nature.

The outstanding beauty of Romania’s wilderness…
… and what is happening to Europe’s last large virgin forests.