Apr 21 · Last update 23 days ago.

How can we save Romania’s forests?

Romania is home to some of the last untouched old-growth forests in Europe, but these ecological assets are at risk from both illegal and legal logging practices. The state-owned company Romsilva is the only commercial logging company in Romania and is responsible for half of the country’s logging, the other half of Romanian logging is illegal and has cost Romania billions since the fall of the Soviet Union. Illegal logging is often tied to other organised crime and is sometimes referred to as ‘wood laundering’ as a result. In Romania, this monumental problem threatens the country's ecosystems and soils, and could spell the end for the last surviving original forests of Europe. Why exactly are Romania’s forests under threat? What is facilitating illegal logging in Romania? Who is responsible for protecting Romania’s forests, and how can they be saved?
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Target the lumber mafia
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Target the lumber mafia

Illegal logging in Romania helps fund criminal networks and other forms of organised crime in the country, with that has been described as a "lumber mafia" responsible for the majority of such logging. In 2019 two rangers were murdered while investigating illegal deforestation, and one of these cases, in Maramures county, even suggests possible connection between this organised crime and the very enforcers that are meant to police them. The solution therefore has to involve better government enforcement, but judging by reports of unwillingness from local governments, policing of Romania's forests may need to be spearheaded at a national level.

news.yahoo.com/eu-commission-warns-romania-over-illegal-logging-171352602.html romania-insider.com/romania-illegal-logging-report-censored theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/08/violence-escalates-as-romania-cracks-down-on-illegal-timber-trade

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