MEP Thomas Waitz to visit Romania in May 2018 to check primeval forests in national parks and Natura 2000 sites
While primary forests have gradually disappeared from the European natural heritage, Romania still have some great forests formed after the last ice age. They remained untouched till recently. Political incompetence and corporate greed puts these forests under massive threat. Only about 10% of all primary forests were included in the National Catalog of Virgin Forests. The public funds allocated years ago to map and preserve these forests have been used for other purposes. The situation is out of control.
Thomas Waitz, Member of the European Parliament (Greens), will visit primeval forests in Romanian national parks and Natura 2000 sites in May 2018. He states: “The Romanian government allows primeval forests to be destroyed for profit’s sake. As in Bielaowieza, this is not only a national disaster but violates European law. We will not tolerate this any longer.” Waitz, who is an Austrian farmer and forest owner, is a member of the Agriculture and Petitions Committee n the European Parliament.
In order to collect more intelligence about the situation on the ground Waitz will join forces with the NGOs EuroNatur and Agent Green and undertake a fact finding mission to Romania. “I’ll take a look at the extent of the destruction in May. If the reports prove true, I will do my utmost to launch an EU infringement procedure against Romania. “
He wil also visit the Cernisoara area in Domogled – Valea national park. This is a wild river basin, hosting a large untouched forest. Not even a trail is leading into this remote paradise forests. There are only a few pathless mountain valleys left in whole EU. The wild landscape reminds on scenes from movies such as Jurassic Park or Lord of the Rings.
But the primeval forest in Cernisoara section (Radoteasa, Vlasia and Carbunele valleys) is largely not protected yet, although it is located in the middle of the national park. It is owned by the Romanian State which issued logging approvals there through the Ministry for Environment, Ministry for Forests and the state forests manager, Romsilva. Road building and harvesting of old stands started in 2017. More is planned in 2018.
The eradication of primeval forests in Romania is Europe’s biggest and most pressing nature conservation drama today. But almost nobody is taking notice. If no action is taken now, many of these valuable forests will be gone within the next 2 to 3 years.
EuroNatur and Agent Green call on the Romanian government to immediately halt commercial logging in all Romanian national parks, to include all primeval and old growth forests in national parks in the core zones and to adopt a modern, independent and well-funded national park management system.
Also the EU needs to get proactively engaged in saving this precious European natural heritage.