Tag Archives: IKEA

Thomas Waitz MEP and Agent Green witnessing illegal logging by Romanian state forests – video

Fact-finding trip by Thomas Waitz, MEP, with Agent Green reveals that illegal logging in Natura 2000 areas continues regardless of EU infringement proceedings
 
Thomas Waitz, Member of the European Parliament, and Gabriel Paun, President of Agent Green, are currently (October 10, 2020) on a field mission in Romania checking Natura 2000 sites for compliance with EU Natura 2000 legislation. In a video message, Gabriel Paun and Thomas Waitz reported that they witnessed destructive and illegal logging on locations that are theoretically protected by EU’s Natura 2000 legislation, including Domogled – Valea Cernei National Park.
 
In the Domogled – Valea Cernei National Park / Natura 2000 area, they even discovered logging by the state-owned forest company Romsilva on a state-owned property on which the Bucharest High Court suspended all logging permits earlier this year.
 
In other words: state-paid foresters are pushing forward cutting down of state-owned trees in a national park and Natura 2000 site despite the country’s Supreme Court suspending the forest management plans in the part of the very forest district.
 

At the same time, the European Commission is pursuing infringement proceedings against the Romanian state after EuroNatur, Client Earth and Agent Green filed complaints about the systematic destruction of forests in Romania’s Natura 2000 areas and illegal logging.

 
The fact that the logging continues even against High Court ruling unmasks the green washing by the romanian forest industry: forestry officials and industry-related professors have recently outbid each other claiming that the romanian forestry is doing better and acting more sustainable than the foresters in “the west”.
 
Thomas Waitz and Gabriel Paun did also trace a wood truck from the Natura 2000 Ținutul Pădurenilor site to the factory of Austrian chipboard company Kronospan in Sebes. The yard of Kronospan factory is filled with logs from large trees, mainly beech. Kronospan, the world’s largest chipboard producer, claims on the respective website: “We ensure that suppliers do not use wood from national parks, natural preserves, virgin forests and other conservation areas.” This is apparently in severe contradiction to the recent observations. 
 
More details you can view on this video:
 
The location of the primary platform where the illegal wood cut in Domogled National Park is loaded in despite the High Court / ICCJ suspended all logging permissions in the area.

Timber companies dissociate from sourcing wood from Romanian national parks and primeval forests

EuroNatur and Agent Green investigate traceability of wood ++ International timber companies call on Romanian government to clarify legal situation ++ Romanian old-growth forests are massively threatened by illegal logging

The initiative “Forest Policy Checker” by nature conservation organisations EuroNatur and Agent Green calls on the wood-processing industry in Romania to disclose the origin of wood sourced for their production processes. Some of the very last primeval forests of Europe are acutely threatened by illegal logging in Romania – which is also due to insufficient protection by the Romanian authorities. The replies to the “Forest Policy Checker” also provide consumers with information about the sustainability criteria and transparency of internationally active timber companies. The questions were submitted to eleven companies which source the bulk of Romanian wood. The findings of this survey: Four companies say to reject wood from protected old-growth forests. On the other hand, six companies did not even answer. IKEA is the only company to accept timber from virgin forests or national parks as long as it is FSC-certified. In addition, timber from areas declared as national parks by the Romanian government but which do not meet the criteria of the IUCN. Questioned on the traceability of sourced wood, e.g. by means of unannounced inspections or by publishing logging permits, the companies reacted very uncommunicative.

The following companies completed the questionnaire: Egger (Austria), Holzindustrie Schweighofer (Austria), IKEA (Sweden), JF Furnir (Austria, in Romania called Holver), Kronospan (Austria). By contrast, Expansion (Romania), Kastamonu (Turkey), Losan (Spain), Massiv (Romania), Succes (Romania) and Yildiriz Entegre (Turkey) did not reply.

“In times, when the Romanian state acts like the worst enemy of nature, we call on international companies to increase the transparency of their business in Romania. We hope that more companies will join our efforts to stop illegal logging”, says Gabriel Paun of Romanian nature conservation NGO Agent Green.

In fact, right those companies that have recently been heavily criticised by nature conservation organisations for their non-transparent procedures, now implemented new processes to increase traceability, for example Holzindustrie Schweighofer. Other companies expressed concerns about the current situation in Romania’s forests, too.

“We are convinced that it is our duty to fulfil our responsibility towards society and nature – this guides our acts always. Therefore we support the implementation of IUCN criteria for national parks in Romania and worldwide, because these criteria ensure the protection of our precious ecosystems”, says Katharina Schabasser Corporate Social Responsibility Representative of the Austrian timber company JF Furnir (Holver in Romania).

“To see wood-processing companies go to greater lengths than the Romanian government to protect old-growth forests is very revealing”, states Gabriel Schwaderer, CEO of EuroNatur. “The companies have the right to a clear legal situation. The government finally has to act and better protect primeval forests.” A first step in this direction would be to promptly include primeval forest areas in the National Register of Primeval Forests.