Romania cuts down three hectares of forest an hour

Romania cuts down three hectares of forest per hour and the total deforested and degraded surface between 2000 and 2011 spread to 280,108 hectares, which means a rate of about 28,000 hectares per year, according to a study launched by Greenpeace. The most affected counties are Suceava, Harghita, Arges, Maramures and Cluj.

Greenpeace on Monday launched the map of deforested areas between 2000 and 2011, demanding the Ministry of Environment and Forests take urgent measures to protect forests.

The Greenpeace study shows that between 2000 and 2011 there were 280,108 hectares deforested, about 28,000 per year.

About 29% of Romania’s territory is covered by forests, compared to an EU average of 42%. Most of the forests in Romania are in the mountainous regions.

The Greenpeace study also shows that almost half of deforested areas between 2000 and 2011 are in currently protected areas. “What’s more serious is that this affects virgin forests, and these are among the most valuable. Compared to other European countries, where the remaining areas covered by virgin forests are much smaller, Romania has 218,500 hectares of virgin forests,” said Doina Danciu, Greenpeace Romania campaign coordinator.

The deforesting is widespread especially in mountain areas and the authorities need to monitor forest interventions and fine and punish all those who cut down trees illegally, Greenpeace said. According to the organization, between 2009 and 2011, there were 30,000 cases of trees being cut down illegally.

Source: Bucharest Herald

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