Thousands of people took to the streets in Romania on Sunday evening to protest against the flourishing illegal logging trade and the recent killings of foresters working to prevent it.
In Bucharest, more than 4,000 people marched in protest to the Ministry of Forestry. In Cluj-Napoca, Kronstadt and Bistritz, people also took to the streets to demand the end of the exploitation of the forests and to commemorate the killed forestry workers.
According to Greenpeace-Romania three hectares of spruce, beech, fir and sycamore trees are cut every hour in the 200,000 hectares of primary Carpathian forest.
The European Union has warned Bucharest of the significant decline of its green spaces. A decline that could affect the climate on a continental scale.
The protesters also demanded more protection for the Romanian forest guards. Two of whom have been killed in the last two months as they tried to protect the forests from illegal logging.
Earlier this month the body of forester Liviu Pop was discovered in a ravine in a forest near Strâmbu Băiut in the Tibles Mountains in northern Romania. He had been shot and had multiple signs of assault on his body, internal injuries and a broken leg. Although his attackers have not been identified, it is suspected that he was targeted because of his role in protecting Strâmbu Băiut,
one of Romania’s last remaining Virgin forests, from illegal logging. Another forester, Raducu Gorcioaia, 50, was found dead in his car in September, a short distance away from an illegal logging site in Pascani forest district in the northeast of the country. The forest ranger had suffered serious head injuries reportedly caused by an axe. Three people, including two teenagers, are suspects in the case.
According to Romsilva, Romania’s National Forest Authority, 16 foresters have been attacked this year, while there have been almost 170 attacks against foresters in the past 5 years.