World Wide Fund Romania warns that hundreds of thousands of hectares of Romanian forests could be cut at any time, with no legal consequence.
The fund says in a release on Tuesday that, although lots of patches of forest look like real forests, they are not officially defined as such in Romania, and are not monitored, guarded, protected or regenerated.
The NGO cites the most recent National Forestry Inventory (IFN) report, which reads that Romania has 7,000,000 hectares of forest, plus about 800,000 hectares with trees outside forests. The National Statistics Institute (INS) informs that the national forestry fund has about 6,500,000 hectares.
As a result of the differences, about 500,000 hectares are not considered forests, because the legal framework says the forests are larger than 0.25 hectares and have trees with minimum heights of 5 metres.
WWF Romania says these patches of forests are often victims of uncontrolled cuts, partial or total, in view of agricultural activities. The release posted on its website also reads that looking at the implementation of the National Plan for Regional Development 2014-2020 we find out that not a single reforestation project has been completed until now.
“In the current pace of artificial afforestation, we will need more than EUR 5 billion and more than 500 years to increase the national forestry fund by half a million hectares of forest. It is much wiser to take care of what we have, very valuable, and let nature work with us, for us,” said Radu Vlad, WWF-Romania regional projects coordinator and afforestation programmes.