Protection for the Romanian Primeval Forests
The Carpathians, a mountain range stretching over 1500 km in Central and Eastern Europe, are home to some of the last primeval forest areas in Europe. Most of them are located in Romania, primarily high-altitude mixed forests where the sycamore maple, indispensable for instrument making, grows. They make up two-thirds of Europe's primeval and natural forests, (Scandinavia left aside). For comparison, the share of the Alps in the European primeval forest heritage is only 0.4 percent. Although they are protected as national and nature parks, EU Natura 2000 sites and UNESCO World Heritage sites, these precious forests are constantly being decimated by legal and illegal logging.
In a corrupt system state officials and entrepeneurs massivly destroy forests. The state forestry company Romsilva is responsible for compliance with the regulations in existing protected zones and for the protection of further forest areas (contrary to international standards, the protection status is not recognised for all forest areas worthy of protection). However, Romsilva is significantly involved in large-scale deforestation. In the process, national Romanian law, EU legislation and international laws are systematically violated.
For example, Romsilva continued logging even though the Supreme Court in Bucharest had suspended logging permits in early 2020.
The Romanian environmental organisation Agent Green and the nature conservation foundation EuroNatur are fighting together against this destructive practice. EuroNatur intends "together with other organisations and committed people [...] to draw attention to the danger to this unique natural heritage and to enforce better protection regulations". In this mission Eben!Holz e.V. joins their project „Save Paradise Forests“ . At the moment, the aim is to provide financial support for the preparation and implementation of legal proceedings at national and European level. The aim is to achieve comprehensive protection, which has so far been denied, and to prove that unlawful concessions for use have been granted. This should stop large-scale deforestation and clear-cutting.
One of the latest successes is that the European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against the Romanian state after EuroNatur, Client Earth and Agent Green filed complaints about the systematic destruction of forests and illegal logging in Romania's Natura 2000 sites.