Greenpeace volunteers from 11 countries (Romania, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) have started taking stock of one of the few virgin or quasi-virgin forests in Romania to underscore the importance for the protection of such endangered forests by law.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, Greenpeace says it has set camp on the shores of Lake Vidraru, the Arges River basin, an area that not so long ago used to be among the largest covered in virgin and quasi-virgin forests.
“These forests make up an invaluable natural heritage. They are part of our identity and the identity of the entire Europe and they have to be protected to our benefit and the benefit of the numerous generations to come,” says Valentin Salageanu (photo) in charge with coordinating the Greenpeace forest protection campaign.
Greenpeace argues that despite their values, Romania’s virgin and quasi-virgin forests are destroyed and degraded at an alarming pace, and consequently Romania has lost almost half of its virgin and quasi-virgin forests over the past decade.
On July 11, Romania’s Minister of the Environment Cristiana Pasca-Palmer sketched up a legislative framework for protecting the country’s last virgin and quasi-virgin forests.
“In order for this entire invaluable natural heritage to be saved, we are calling on the Ministry of the Environment, Waters and Forestry to impose a moratorium on any intervention related to virgin and quasi-virgin forests and to immediately initiate a national stock-taking project for the remaining such forests to be included in a recently drawn national catalogue of virgin and quasi-virgin forests. The forests nominated for inscription on the UNESCO world heritage list will have to be urgently included in the catalogue,” says Salageanu.
Greenpeace and its volunteers are taking the first steps toward populating the catalogue by taking stock of the Cumpana forest for inscription and protection.
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