End the destruction of Romanian forests

To the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius

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Stop the destruction of primary and old-growth forests in Romania and impose a moratorium on ongoing logging in Natura 2000 sites.

Moreover, we urge you to refer Romania to the Court of Justice of the European Union since the Romanian Government has been unwilling to stop the ongoing destruction of protected forests since the infringement procedure was started four years ago. 

Even if it is too late for tens of thousands of hectares of destroyed trees, it is not too late for the last remaining Romanian ancient forests. And it is not too late for you to act, to make a real difference for Romanian, and thus European primary and old-growth forests. 

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Why is this important?

Romanian primary and old-growth forests (POGFs) are still being cut without regard to their ecological, conservation and climate change relevance and without appropriate assessment and full disclosure of these activities or their legality.

Many protected animals depend on them for survival. For people worldwide, the Romanian Carpathian Forests are our global natural heritage and must be preserved to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss together. As valuable carbon sinks, they bind millions of tonnes of CO2, among other things, contribute to the formation of oxygen and protect the soil from erosion by storing the water in it.

In the last two years, only looking at 0.01% of logging permits already showed that more than 60,000 cubic meters of trees were removed within 5 Natura 2000 protected areas – equivalent to 420 football fields. 

Given this systemic problem, Romanian authorities must be held legally accountable.

Only 3% of EU forested land and patches are covered by primary and old-growth forests  which count among the richest EU forest ecosystems. With at least 525,000 hectares of potential primary and old-growth forests remaining, Romania holds one of the largest shares of POGFs among all EU member states. Around 300,000 hectares of Romanian woods are listed as Natura 2000 sites. 

The 10th of September 2023 marked four years since the environmental NGOs EuroNatur, Agent Green, and ClientEarth, alerted the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, to the destruction of protected forests in Romania (complaint registered under the reference number CHAP(2019)02656).

Following the EU complaint, the European Commission opened an infringement procedure (registered under the ID INFR(2020)2033) against Romania by sending a letter of formal notice in February 2020 and a reasoned opinion in July 2020. 

Since then, nothing has changed for the better – quite the opposite is the case! 

So, we need YOUR support to bring this issue to the forefront of the political agenda. 
SIGN our petition letting the EU know you do not stand for this destruction! 

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