Romanian forests for sale in bid to save wilderness

A CONSERVATION organisation is offering foreigners a chance to buy into Romanian forests – in a bid to save some of Europe’s largest surviving tracts of virgin forests from illegal logging and deforestation.

Using donated funds, Conservation Carpathia plans to purchase about 100,000 hectares of Romanian forests and meadows in order to establish one of Europe’s largest wilderness reserves that would be a haven to large predators such as wolves and bears. (…)

“The Romanian Carpathians are one of the wildest places in Europe. There are large carnivores there and they have a great bio-diversity,” Christoph Promberger, Conservation Carpathia’s executive director, told The Scotsman.

“But they are now under tremendous pressure from logging so we are just trying to protect them for future generations.”

With their eyes fixed on the rich prize Romania’s forests offer, international logging firms have piled into the country since the fall of communism in 1989, bringing with them promises of jobs and investment. They have also profited from the state returning land stolen during the communist years to families who have lost any connection with the forests their ancestors once called home. Having no bond to the land they happily sold up to the loggers for a quick profit. (…)

To try and stop the loss Conservation Carpathia has started to buy land with money donated by foreign donors from a number of countries. Founded in 2009 the organisation already has 16,000 hectares and aims to hit 100,000 in the next few years. (…)

Read full article at The Scotsman.

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