Environment, Waters and Forests Minister Costel Alexe said, on Thursday evening, that Romania considers banning log exports outside the European Union, warning that our country is losing money for every cubic meter of illegal logging.
“We are the country in Europe with the shortest lifespan for the IFN (National Forest Inventory – e.n.). The Nordic countries, for instance, have this mechanism for 40-50 or 60 years. IFN is important as it gives us data upon which we can draft national forest strategy (…) The Romanian state is losing money for each million cubic meter of wood that is illegally logged. Let’s say that, in a year, there are 10 million cubic meters of illegal logging from the Romanian state’s public property. If we multiply 10 million with 50 euro per cubic meter of wood, that results in 500 million euro, without even adding fiscalization,” minister Alexe told private TV broadcaster Digi 24.
The minister also said that in the case of the management of Romsilva, the National Forest Corporation there is “room for much improvement”.
“I agreed and I supported the amendment of the statute of the forestry staff, so that we find some financial resources to equip foresters with better cars, to give them higher wages if possible, to allow them to bear arms,” Costel Alexe stated.
President Iohannis: Half of Romania’s timber is cut illegally
On the other hand, President Klaus Iohannis had a talk with the Environment minister yesterday about the illegal logging and asked that they should be stopped.
“I personally want to get very much involved in this topic, because illegal logging must be stopped”, Iohannis told a press conference on Thursday.
“This approach is not new to me. There was an entire PSD policy to denigrate me by using fake news that I would be friend of some that are grubbing up and that I would be against woods. I am not. I am a fan of protecting forests and a clean environment. We need solid policies, firm actions so that the Environmental Guard should be restored to prevent illegal woodcutting”, Iohannis underlined, while adding the statistics are scaring. “An equal timber quantity legally cut is also cut illegally and this must stop”, the President said.
He argued that the illegal logging had been discussed within CSAT- the Supreme Defence Council and there had been framework decision in this regard, but it had not been enforced, because “PSD did not want that.”