A new law might give Romania’s threatened forests a new lease on life.
Illegal deforestation of an area larger than one hectare, as well as the exploitation of forests without a development plan, are now considered threats to national security, after President Klaus Iohannis put his signature on the bill, according to Radio Romania International.
The measure was badly needed, given the rapid loss of Romanian forests, at a rate of three hectares per hour, according to a Greenpeace Romania study.
Cases of illegal logging investigated by the authorities jumped from an average of 28 per day in 2009-2011, to 50 per day in 2012, and 62 per day in 2013-2014, Greenpeace said.
However, these figures fail to grasp the real scale of illegal logging because official figures and investigations only cover a fraction of practice, said Valentin Salageanu, the coordinator of Greenpeace Romania’s forest campaign.
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