State forests retroceded. We notified the Romanian President and the Romanian Ombudsman

The chaotic forest retrocession system, which was one of the main causes of illegal logging in Romania, is about to enter a new stage: „appropriation” from the forests that have always belonged to the state. Unfortunately, this law change comes at a time when national forestry policies have not recovered from the drift yet and there is no solid and predictable framework for sustainable forest management. The forestry regime is about to be revised by enforcing a new Forestry Code, which today proposes a logging liberalization that targets especially the private property.

We appealed to the Romanian President and the Romanian Ombudsman, whom we ask to turn this law back to the Parliament, to be discussed again.

Respecting the property right is a mandatory condition in a rule of law and, implicitly, retroceding the assets to their rightfully owners is mandatory. However, the Romanian state's property right must be respected equally, so as not to decimate the national forestry fund that has always belonged to the state. We continue to argue that fragmenting the national forestry fund, by giving up the forests belonging to the state, is a profoundly irresponsible act that brings great economic, social and ecological damage to all Romanians.

An injustice can never be repaired by another injustice. The property right should not be recreated by expropriating another owner, even if we are talking about a public good belonging to the state.

The state should instead give up the forests that didn’t belong to it before the nationalization and to reevaluate, with priority, how the restitution process has proceeded so far, with special attention to fraudulent retrocessions. Thus, it would be possible to repair the damages caused and the state could have again public ownership on the illegally retroceded forests.

Last, but not least, the state should financially compensate the people who suffered because of the nationalization and, considering the public interest, preserve and sustainably manage the forest that has always belonged to the state, to each of us.

We ask the Government and the Parliament to focus on protecting the national forestry fund and to adopt, through the New Forestry Code, the strategic action directions assumed by the Romanian Government through the National Strategy for Forests (SNP30).

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