Last steps of the Forestry Code: behind closed doors

This week we notified the General Secretariat of the Government and the ministries responsible for approving the normative acts that the guidelines set by the National Strategy for Forests are mainly ignored in new Forestry Code draft, published for public consultation by the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests (MMAP).

Such an action was necessary because of the lack of a minimum decision-making transparency related to the public consultation process organized by MMAP more than 70 days ago. The draft law was initially published on the ministry's website in early August and, at the end of August, the MMAP held a public debate in which WWF played an active role.

Since then, the authorities have not released any official information on the matter. Neither the minutes of the public debate, nor the collected written recommendations, the improved versions of the draft law at various stages of elaboration, nor the opinion reports were made public. That is why, in October, we asked the Ministry for these documents, according to the law, but we have not received an answer so far.

Our initiative must also be seen in the light of the conflicting public information regarding the status of the draft law. Therefore, we could not let go unnoticed the significant negative impact this draft law could have on the responsible management of forests in Romania.

Given the complexity of the economic, social and environmental implications the new Forestry Code draft has, we hope that our proposals will be taken into account and the legal obligations regarding decision-making transparency will be respected.

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