WWF sounds the alarm: Romania won’t stop illegal logging

Illegal logging will continue.

Today, the Romanian forests are about to lose another battle, this time for the European funds within the National Strategic Plan. Only 0.46% of the money is available for forest conservation and sustainable forest management. WWF Romania sounds the alarm that at least 10% is needed to implement what Romania has assumed in front of the European institutions. The decision is up to the Agricultural Ministry, which doesn’t have a direct interest in forest conservation, while the Environment Ministry, to which the forests belong, leaves the matter unattended.

Romania continues to face problems related to illegal logging, old growth forests conservation and protected areas management. Although it owns two thirds of Europe’s virgin forests, it doesn’t seem interested to protect them. Out of more than 6.5 million hectares of forests, less than 3% are protected against any type of logging.

WWF Romania thinks this percentage is too low and needs to be at least 10%. Otherwise, valuable forest ecosystems remain unprotected. That is why it launched a petition in which it asks for the state’s support for forest conservation. 

This is a problem that affects us all, no matter if we work in a forest-related area or not, if we live in the countryside or just like to take a walk into the woods. We all need nature, water, fresh air and want our children to inherit nature as we know it. Now it’s the time to find solutions for many issues and needs regarding the forests, no matter if we talk about illegal logging, the destruction of forest habitats, the superior use of timber harvested from forests or the protection of valuable for-ests. 

We will not be able to solve these problems without investing in conservation efforts, without compensating owners who face restrictions when cutting wood, without supporting a green and fair transition for local wood-dependent communities. We need support.

The reform for sustainable forest management, which is so necessary, needs resources. Increasing forest area and its resilience to climate change or including more forests into a strict protection regime cannot be done only on paper. It is important to preserve the forests, but we must also offer an alternative to forest owners or to local wood-dependent communities. Otherwise they are "pushed" to enter a gray or even black area.

Conservation works for the Romanian forests need funding, otherwise any protection idea is just a beautiful dream and any strategy remains powerless. 

WWF Romania sounded the alarm to the Romanian Government and as many people as possible need to express their concern about the future of our forests. It can be done by signing the petition here

Because forest is life!

For further information, please contact Magda Munteanu, senior communications specialist at WWF Romania, email address: mconstantin@wwf.ro