Forestry Code shouldn’t be sent to Parliament in its current form

The draft of the new Forestry Code, following the debates, was made public yesterday, with more than a three-month delay.  WWF warns that the current provisions generate more risks than solutions, even compared to those of the current Forestry Code, which was supposed to be changed.

“We know what needs to be done for forests. The new Forestry Code only had to transpose what was set by the National Forest Strategy 2030. Unfortunately, several strategic directions are not properly transposed or are even diverted. The draft creates more questions than gives clear guidelines for the development of subsequent legislation, which will have to include over 30 Government Decisions and Ministerial Orders.”

Here are some of the main problems that persist:

  • An uncontrolled increase of timber harvesting is legalized. It will be possible to cut more and cheaper, without taking into account the cumulative impact that logging will have at forest landscape level, with major risks related to forest conservation and the development of a sustainable bioeconomy.      

“The need for wood on the Romanian market may double or triple in the coming years, but that does not mean that we have to cut our forests based on the opportunities seen by some investors. Forest management must take into account sustainability principles and not the momentary interests of small groups."

  • There is no clear reform of the system to fight illegal logging. We are left with the same inefficient system focused on marking trees, monetizing standing timber and identifying unmarked stumps. It is a system that does not produce conclusive evidence in court, does not act as prevention but, on the contrary, generates systemic conflicts of interest.
  • It doesn’t set sustainability criteria that promote cascading wood use and monetizing on superior wood.

Major issues are doubled by wording-related problems. Many times, the provisions aren’t unequivocally binding. They risk not producing legal effects and do not allow clear result indicators, to guide towards sustainable forest management.

WWF considers that the draft of the new Forestry Code should be revised in an integrated manner, through a unitary vision, closely following the red line set by the National Forestry Strategy. This draft should not get the green light from the ministries responsible for approving normative acts, so that it does not end up being adopted by the Government and sent to the Parliament.

Once in Parliament, it is unlikely that all these disparate amendments will succeed in transposing the strategic directions assumed by Romania and in giving the coherence and predictability necessary for an organic law. Our country has a historic opportunity now, which it should not waste.

Scroll to Top