Virgin forests reportedly cover some 300,000 hectares in Romania, an analysis completed by Greenpeace Romania reads. The organisation has launched on Wednesday a map with these forests, drawn up on public information and satellite images, and asks the Water and Forests Ministry to get involved to identify these areas, a first step towards protecting them, RFI informs.
The map was drawn up by Greenpeace Romania together with Eberswalde University, Germany and Al. I. Cuza University in Iasi. Together with the map was launched also the study written by Prof. Iovu Biris titled ‘The situation of virgin forests in Romania’.
Greenpeace says Romanian Carpathians are covered with the largest virgin forests in EU’s temperate zone, hosting approx. 13,000 species, including the largest bear population in Europe, rare species and big carnivorous such as the wolf and the lynx.
For drawing the map on virgin forests, Greenpeace needed one year and the assessment of almost 6,000,000 hectares. Some 295,000 hectares with potential virgin and quasi-virgin forests have been identified in the following counties: Brasov – 49,601 hectares, Caras Severin – 39,513 hectares, Arges – 38,918 hectares. The highest density of potential virgin forests is located in the Natura 2000 site – Fagaras.
“We challenge the ministry with the launching of this map on virgin forests. We had delays. (…) Unfortunately these delays mean losses of areas with virgin forests. For example, at the end August we blocked a forest exploitation in Ciucas Mountains. Now we have a legal protection system which does not work. This incapacity should be compensated by concluding a national inventory,” Valentin Salageanu, Greenpeace Romania coordinator of forests and biodiversity campaigns, said.
He explained that once validated as virgin forests, the next step would be to include them in the national catalogue and setting up a national strategy for their management.