Tag Archives: MEP

How safe are EU’s natural forests? High level event in EU Parliament.

Sept. 24, Brussels: Forest destruction – only an issue in the Amazon?
*** New report “LOGGING OUT – Saving Romania’s paradise forests” ***

On September 24th, Members of the European Parliament (Michal WIEZIK, Martin HO-JSÍK, Siegfried MUREŞAN, Sarah WIENER) and Humberto DELGADO ROSA (Director at DG Environment of the EU Commission) discuss with NGOs EuroNatur, Client Earth and Agent Green the status and future of EU’s remaining old-growth and primary forests.

Europe’s remaining old-growth and primary forests are an outstanding biological treasure and they store and capture huge amounts of carbon. While the shock about the forest tragedy in the Amazon is substantial, many of Europe’s last natural forests are also under threat, even in protected areas such as Natura 2000 sites and national parks. In the temperate climate zone of the EU, most of these highly valuable forest remains are located in the Carpathians, mainly in Romania, Slovakia and Poland.

A new inventory of Romania’s old- growth and primary forests (“PRIMOFARO”), commissioned by EuroNatur Foundation, reveals a huge extent of close-to-nature forests – and the acute threat they face from logging. The key findings of the inventory will be presented at the event.

The main questions to be addressed at the conference in the European Parliament will be:

• To what extent does the Natura 2000 regime guarantee sufficient conservation outcomes for Eu-rope’s last natural forests?

• In April 2018, a ruling of the European Court of Justice stopped logging activities in Poland’s Bialowieza Natura 2000 site due to severe breaches of the EU Habitat and Birds Directives. But what will happen to the rest of natural forests in Natura 2000 sites?

• Will the EU fulfil its own environmental responsibilities and act to protect our last old-growth and primary forests?

On 10th September 2019, EuroNatur, Client Earth and Agent Green filed an EU complaint against the Romanian government and authorities regarding systematic breaches of EU legislation in the forest sector. Client Earth will explain details of the complaint at the event.

“Today, the climate crisis is on top of the UN agenda in New York. Tomorrow, a forest summit will take place in Berlin. The IPBES Global Assessment Report highlighted that global protection and restoration of natural ecosystems are equally important as fighting the climate crisis. Therefore, the preservation of intact and carbon-rich forest habitats in Europe must be treated as a topic of utmost importance,” Gabriel Schwaderer says.

New report published:
“LOGGING OUT – Saving Romania’s paradise forests”

The report gives an overview about the tragic situation of Romania’s old growth and primary forests, explains the backgrounds and draws solutions.

You can download the report here (or click on image below).

 

High level event in EU Parliament: EU’s Old Growth and Primary Forests Under Siege

Members of the European Parliament join NGO’s EuroNatur, Client Earth and Agent Green as well as the Director of DG Environment of the EU Commission to discuss status and future of EU’s last old growth and primary forests – September 24, Brussels

Most of the old-growth and primary forest remains in the temperate climate zone of the EU are located in the Carpathians – mainly in Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
A new inventory of Romania’s old- growth and primary forests, commissioned by EuroNatur Foundation, has revealed a huge extent of close-to-nature forests – and their threat from logging.

These forests are an outstanding biological treasure and capture huge amounts of carbon. The IPBES „Global Assessment“ report (May 2019) made clear that the global protection and restoration of na- tural ecosystems is equally important to tackling the climate crisis. However, logging of the EU’s last intact natural forest ecosystems proceeds at a rapid pace, including within Natura 2000 sites.

The European Court of Justice (2018) stopped logging activities in Polands Bialowieza Natura 2000 site due to the legal breaches of the EU‘s Habitat and Birds Directives. But what will happen to the rest of the EU‘s natural forests in Natura 2000 sites? Will the EU fulfil its own environmental responsibilities and act to protect our last old-growth and primary forests?

Therefore, we kindly invite you to join the high level event on September 24 with Members of the European Parliament, the Director of DG Environment of the EU Commission and NGO experts to contribute to the discussion about the future of Europe’s most valuable forests.

Please note that you need to register, if you do not have an access badge (see details below).

Thank you for sharing this information!

 

Forest destruction in Romania: EU-Fact-Finding Mission und Anti-Mafia-Raid

National Park Director from State Forestry Romsilva: “The forest itself wants to be cut down”

In the early morning of May 30, 2018, officials of the Romanian anti-mafia prosecution office DIICOT began a large-scale investigation against illegal practices in the wood industry in Romania. The DIICOT press release announces: “Public prosecutors of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism have together with police officers within the Public Order Department and the Department of Economic Crime conducted 23 house searches in five districts of the country and in Bucharest.” The press release speaks of a “destructive action by an organized criminal group” specializing in offenses of misappropriation of public wood and also auctions, tax evasion, unfair competition, deforestation and other offenses. “

There is a “reasonable suspicion” that since 2011, several individuals have formed an organized criminal group whose members are abusing public auctions organized at the level of forestry departments in order to procure significant additional quantities of wood for processing in sawmills. Furthermore, there is reasonable suspicion that some of the processed wood comes from illegal wood sources. The estimated damage amounts to more than 25 million euros, according to DIICOT. The members of the organized criminal group also benefited from the support of some officials. A number of people will be brought to the DIICOT headquarters for questioning. In the operation special units of the gendarmerie brigade “Vlad Tepes” (the civil name of “Count Dracula”) are also involved.

“The forest itself wants to be cut down”…

Primeval forest demand itself to be cut. Really? from AGENT GREEN on Vimeo.

EU Fact Finding mission and protest action in Domogled National Park

The investigation action by Romanian anti-mafia prosecutors took place four days after a publicly-acknowledged Fact Finding mission by MEP Thomas Waitz and a protest by activists from Agent Green in Domogled National Park (26 May 2018) which hosts large areas of primeval and old growth beech forest that has been affected heavily by aggressive logging. The ongoing destruction of high conservation forest stands in this national park is just one  example for the wide spread malfunction of official nature conservation in Romania.

The visit of Thomas Waitz and representatives of EuroNatur and Agent Green revealed dramatic forest destruction in the heart of the national park: cutting of ancient beech forests, oversized and erosion-promoting forest roads or soil devastation by tractor paths on steep slopes.

National Park Director Ioan Gaspar gave the remarkable statement in front of the camera on Saturday, May 26: “The forest itself wants to be cut down”. Romsilva manager Dragos Mihai, who is in charge of 12 out of 13 Romanian national parks, claimed on the spot – unswervingly of obvious deforestation – that there is no logging in old-growth forests in the national park. He also denied that the Romanian national parks are corresponding to the international standards of the world nature conservation organization IUCN and insisted that deforestation in the so-called buffer zone of the park was legal.

However, according to the IUCN rules, at least 75% of a national park must be strictly protected. Furthermore, the Romanian National Park Law (O.U.G. 57/2007) defines that the national parks must comply with the IUCN category II, which gives priority to protection of ecosystems and recreation. The National Park Administration is therefore required by law to exclude “any form of exploitation of natural resources and land use” that is incompatible with conservation objectives.

“A Romsilva manager admitted in conversation at the site that half of the national park is de facto no longer a national park because of loggin,,” the environmentalist and journalist Matthias Schickhofer reports, who participated in the mission for the EuroNatur Foundation. “All the state foresters and national park employees present have hardly lost a sentence on the protection of ecosystems during the entire visit. Obviously, they are only concerned about the highest possible revenue from the use of wood. But logging in national parks is in severe conflict with existing laws. The forest destruction in Domogled National Park is only the tip of the iceberg: The large-scale action of the special authorities against criminal structures in Romanian timber industry proves that there is a systemic problem. Romania urgently needs a fundamental turnaround in the forest industry“.

Logging in old beech forests in Cernisoara-area at the heart of Domogled national park.
Intact primeval beech forest in Radoteasa valley, Cernisoara forest district in Domogled national park. According to a Romsilva manager an “expert” confirmed that this is not old growth forest…
Pathless wildnes in Radoteasa valley, Cernisoara area: Romsilva apparently wants to log this forest although it is located in the middle of the national park. However, the Director of Nature Conservation of Romsilva said, that this area could be incorporated potentially into the striclty protected core zone of the national park…
Sustainable forestry? No, former old growth forest in Domogled national park.
Oversized forest road in the old beech forest in the heart of the Domogled National Park. Here, apparently whole old trees were teared down into the valley …
MEP Thomas Waitz, organic farmer and forest owner from Austria, counts the annual rings of an ancient beech tree near the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Iauna Craiova” in the Domogled National Park. A new UNESCO World Heritage program has been set up in 2017 protecting the last European beech forests. In the list are, among others, also some stands in Romania. Nevertheless, in the Domogled National Park old growth beech forests are beeing logged that border the UNESCO area and that are largely identical to forests in the UNESCO protected area…
UNESCO beech forest reserve Iauna Craiova in Domogled National Park. The logged national park areas outside the reserve have likely once looked like this.