Codul Silvic

The Environment Ministry reveals an already derailed new Forestry Code

The new Forestry Code draft, presented today by the Ministry of the Environment, does not take into account the strategic directions set by the National Strategy for Forests 2030. The so necessary administrative reforms are missing, which generates major risks regarding logging liberalization, lowering the forest-covered area at national level, starting a new wave of „appropriation” from the state-owned forests and encouraging the export of raw wood.

We consider this fundamental law should instead support Romania’s national targets such as protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of forests, stopping the biodiversity decline, lowering the climate change effects and ensuring sustainable production models.

"If the fundamental law for forests ignores the important strategic directions set by the national strategy, Romanian forests will continue to meet the short-term needs of the political class, which avoids the real objectives it should meet to the benefit of the society.”

The document presented by the authorities does not take into account some important objectives regarding biodiversity conservation, indicating clear funding sources for forest conservation, protecting forest-dependent communities or protecting „Nobody’s Forests” – the forests outside the forestry fund. If these aspects are not taken into account, several already assumed targets risk remaining simple statements or being completely ignored.

In addition, there is a lack of coherence regarding technical provisions and harmonizing with the national and regional policies. The legal text must be clearly, fluently and intelligibly formulated, without syntactic difficulties and obscure or equivocal paragraphs.

On the positive side, the new Forestry Code rewrites the penalty system, which have a discouraging effect, continues the digitized fight against illegal logging and maintains the sustainable principles regarding forest management for large areas.

We consider that the biggest problem of the Romanian forests is the lack of predictability and of a vision that answers the question: what do we want to do with our forests? After having initially received a positive answer by the National Strategy for Forests, we noticed that the new Forestry Code draft ignores many strategic directions that are so necessary for forest conservation and for the sustainable development of local communities in Romania.

We will continue to be involved in the public consultation process and we will support the necessary amendments, so that the National Strategy for Forests can turn into reality.

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