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Greenpeace Poland and Wild Poland activists blockade loggers in the Białowieża Forest

Informacja prasowa - 30 maja, 2017
Loggers in Europe’s last remaining primeval forest have for the second time in a week faced off against Greenpeace Poland and Wild Poland Foundation activists in the threatened Białowieża Forest. [1]

Activists blocked a ‘harvester’ - heavy machinery designed for the mass cutting of trees - and displayed banners calling for the logging to stop. The activists aim was to draw attention to the fact that trees are being felled during bird breeding season. This was illegal until January 2017, when Poland’s minister of environment, Jan Szyszko passed a law allowing it. One of the banners reads, “Don’t cut trees during breeding season!”

The part of the Browsk forest district where the action took place, directly borders areas where rare bird species nest; the white-backed woodpecker and Eurasian pygmy owl among them.

Robert Cyglicki, Director of Greenpeace Poland, said:

“The breeding season is a critical moment for the health of bird populations and they need the highest level of peace and security. Destroying the forest near their nests, which is now allowed by the new law, is extraordinarily cruel and is one more reason that we need to show that we will not let this old and fragile ecosystem be cut down for profit.

An amendment to Polish environmental law - commonly known as "Lex Szyszko", after Jan Szyszko, Poland’s environment minister - effectively removed any kind of control over cutting trees on private lands and resulted in massive logging all over the country.  According to the amendment, state-managed forests will not be obliged to follow EU regulation on the legal protection of species.

“Szyszko’s law not only violates European regulations, it violates the common legacy of our ancient and precious Białowieża forest,” added Cyglicki.

Notes:

[1] Read about the previous encounter here: http://www.greenpeace.org/poland/pl/wydarzenia/polska/Biaowiea-Forest--minister-Szyszko-crossed-the-red-line/

Images of the protest can be seen here.

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