Tag Archives: biodiversity

Call on EU Summit in Sibiu: Fight ecosystem crisis, save Romania’s forest treasure

In an open letter, EuroNatur and AgentGreen call on EU leaders to comprehensively protect old growth forests in Romania.

++ Final Conference of the World Biodiversity Council confirms the seriousness of the threats from global biodiversity and ecosystem destruction ++ One of the most urgent measures is the protection of old forests ++ EuroNatur and Agent Green urge the EU heads of government to finally protect the virgin and old growth forests in Romania ++

On the occasion of the EU summit on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu, Romania, the international nature conservation foundation EuroNatur and its Romanian partner organization Agent Green draw attention to the nature conservation drama in the Romanian Carpathians. In an open letter, they call on the heads of state of the European Union to put the continued destruction of Romania’s old growth and primary forests on the agenda of the meeting and to stand up for an to the logging.

“Since Romania’s accession to the European Union, almost half of the primary forests known so far have been cut down. Logging does not even stop at protected areas. All this is happening before the eyes of the Romanian government and the European Union, “says Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of EuroNatur.

In the final report of the IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – World Biodiversity Council), which was presented on May 6 in Paris, scientists have once again warned of the alarming state of decline of the planet’s biodiversity. They agree that species extinction is no longer just an environmental problem, but that whole ecosystems are becoming unstable, threatening the foundations of food, clean water and fresh air. The protection of primeval and very natural forests is given a high priority by many renowned scientists.

Read more:  Opinion piece by Sir Robert Watson, the chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Giant clearcut in Romania’s Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 site: IPBES reports warns about global impacts of forest destrcution.

190 scientists call on EU to prevent increased harvesting levels for bioenergy

“All remaining old-growth forests need to be protected to safeguard biodiversity
and carbon stocks”

A long list of scientists from numerous different countries undersigned a letter to the Estonian EU-Presidency and the Environment Council (and other institutions), expressing “grave concern and dismay” over the scientific basis of recent policy developments regarding EU climate legislation on forests: the LULUCF Regulation and sustainability criteria of biomass in the Renewable Energy Directive.

The latest proposals in the Environmental Council could create false incentives for more intensive forest use in the EU Member States. As a result, more wood would be harvested to “replace” fossil fuels with wood and bioenergy. However, if the forestry reference point is based on a period after 2009, the rising timber harvest would not be completely offset by the climate. In 2009, the Renewable Energies Directive came into effect, which promoted the production of bioenergy from wood. The general orientation of the Environment Council on the LULUCF Regulation is expected to be voted on October 13.

“We urge you to support the highest integrity of these two strongly interlinked EU climate laws in order to provide regulation that truly benefits the climate. The promotion of an increase in active forest management encourages increased harvest levels in order to substitute fossil-derived fuels and products with wood and bioenergy without accounting for their full climate impacts. This approach risks having adverse effects on climate, biodiversity and resilient ecosystems by emitting more greenhouse gases, influencing biophysical processes and causing additional habitat loss – accumulating evidence suggests that the proposed strategy risks being counterproductive.”

The scientists argue that the promotion of an increase in active forest management encourages increased harvest levels in order to substitute fossil-derived fuels and products with wood and bioenergy without accounting for their full climate impacts. This approach risks having adverse effects on climate, biodiversity and resilient ecosystems by emitting more greenhouse gases, influencing biophysical processes and causing additional habitat loss – accumulating evidence suggests that the proposed strategy risks being counterproductive.

In 2010, about 60% of the European wood is used for (short-lived) energy and pulp, while only 40 % is represented by wood products. Many of these products, such as disposable packages and direct advertising, do not even substitute fossil fuels.

“The EU needs to set an evidence-based precedent on the implementation of Paris Agreement in relation to land and forests – the EU forest and climate legislation needs to serve climate mitigation, consider large-scale impacts on forests and to account for the multi-functionality of forests forcefully,” the undersigned wrote.

The letter calls on EU to make sure that policies are adopted to prevent the use of biomass feedstocks with long pay back times for energy, because these are unlikely to make an effective contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement target to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aspire to 1.5 degrees.

In particular all remaining old-growth and high conservation value forests need to be protected to safeguard biodiversity and carbon stocks, they argue. “Already degraded areas need to be restored through national measures and EU wide action plan. In implementing the EU climate regulations and national mitigation measures, the impacts on the achievement of EU biodiversity objectives, as specified in the EU biodiversity strategy and in the Birds and Habitats Directives need to be assessed.”

Furthermore, forest management methods, such as continuous-cover silviculture, which minimize the release of greenhouse gases from soil should be promoted and deforestation should be prevented.

Here is the full text of the scientists letter.

Fagaras Natura 2000, Romania: Logging of old growth forests does not help with climate protection…