More and more bad news are coming from Balkan countries. Illegal logging in Romanian part of Carpathian Mountains seems to be is far beyond our imagination. Failure to protect birds in the Bulgarian national parks captivate even attention of European Commission. And last but not least the UNESCO World Heritage Committee just expressed concern over three sites in this part of Europe.

Too many bears hunted! Stop forest degradation in Romania! Illegal logging is out of the control! World Heritage meeting reveals emerging threats to Pirin and other European sites in Bulgaria!

These are news headlines  coming from these two European countries in the last 2-3 months. Countries which  until recently  were considered to be a kingdom of European wilderness. Countries considered to be the wild part of Europe.

It seems that something is going wrong. Membership in European union seems to have brought a lot of advantages for people, economy and fast development but not so much for nature, biodiversity and wilderness!

So what is wrong? That several of very first European certified wilderness areas are coming exactly from these two countries: Romania and Bulgaria. It is estimated that almost 120.000 of the original 360.000 primeval beech forests were logged during the last 10 years, lost forever and turned into wood chips. We informed you about the many reports on supposedly illegal logging in Romania and Ukraine and the lack of actions to prevent this.

Even more alarming is the information that even the globally well-known network of protected areas, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is not strong enough to protect global natural and wilderness heritage.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee just recently expressed concern over three sites inBulgaria and Romania facing severe pressures from harmful industrial activities, but failed to take bold action to protect them. At the meeting, the World Heritage committee considered a Bulgarian site at risk from both encroachment by ski resorts and increased industrial-scale logging. For example, nearly 60 per cent of the Pirin National Park could be opened to logging through a new government plan, announce WWF in their Report.

We are very glad that the European Commission, is taking Bulgaria to the Court of Justice of the EU over its failure to protect unique habitats and important bird species in the Rila Mountains. Hopefully it will also take actions against the illegal and legal logging of primeval beech forest all across Eastern Europe.

In addition, we would like to remind our fellow wilderness advocates that the polish  forest service is also in the process of logging and therefore threathing the most iconic pine, oak, spruce, and beech forest in Europe, Białowieża and its surrounding Forests.

In these countries something is really going wrong when it comes to nature protection.

We will publish next week a 32 page special report on the logging in Romania,

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About Author

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

2 Comments

  1. Jörg Brunet on

    Hello,

    please note that there is no beech in the Bialowieza primeval forest. It is located beyond the Eastern distribution limit of Fagus sylvatica.

    Kind regards,
    Jörg Brunet
    Professor in forest ecology at SLU, Sweden

  2. Max A.E. Rossberg on

    Hi Jörg,

    thanx for the notices that we were a imprecise. We modified the text to now include: “…therefore threathing the most iconic pine, oak, spruce, and beech forest in Europe, Białowieża and its surrounding Forests….”

    The main issue is the most of this logging is done under a commercial license, as if commercial logging makes it any better 🙁

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