A concerning story has come to our attention, which we would like to share. Matthias Schickhofer, photographer, book author and EuroNatur-partner, is actively involved in the mapping of virgin forests in Romania. This is another attempt by another NGOs to fight the continued deforestation of the Old Growth Forests in Romania and elsewhere.
An expedition to map virgin forests in the Domogled National Park and Valcan Mountains in Romania revealed a big drama.
We are cutting down the remaining virgin forests of Romania at great speed. This is to a large extent with the permission of the authorities. Also in national parks and Natura 2000 areas. Only a small part is currently effectively protected. That is probably the biggest nature destruction drama in the EU right now. Therefore, the extent of the destruction far exceeds the forest drama in Poland (the Bialowieza forest), but that is far too little known.
Please also read: Logging in Romanian virgin forest continues
National Catalogue of Virgin Forests in Romania
The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) is supporting Romanian forest experts in mapping threatened primeval forests. to also include these forests in the “National Catalogue of Virgin Forests”. Prof. Rainer Luick (Forestry University / Rottenburg) has initiated the project.
The Romanian primeval forest protection program “National Catalog of Primeval Forests” is proceeding slowly to properly protect the remaining Old Growth Forests. So far, it has been solely the voluntary job of NGOs like mainly WWF and Greenpeeace to map the primeval forests and submit to the “Catalogue”. Mapping and deforestation are now virtually a race for time.
Schickhofer participated recently in a forest mapping expedition in October in the Domogled National Park, Valea Cernei, and in the Valcan Mountains with Romanian forestry experts. The trip revealed large areas of intact but unprotected virgin forests. Logging proceeds, an untouched valley was destroyed this year. The European Wilderness Society is in negotiations with Romanian authorities to protect some of these Old Growth Forests as part of the European Wilderness Network.
After several decades of implementing national and European Union legislation and even after the case of Holzindustrie Schweighofer and FSC, Old Growth Forests are still under threat in Romania. Not only in Romania, also the the iconic Bialowieza forest and all over the Carpathian countries such as Slovakia and Ukraine.