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Logging in the Bialowieza Forest is illegal – confirms the Advocate General of European Court of Justice

Informacja prasowa - 20 lutego, 2018
Today the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice announced his opinion on the logging operations in the Bialowieza Forest, a protected natural forest in Poland. According to the opinion, increasing logging quotas was unlawful. The opinions of the Advocate General are not binding on the EU Court of Justice, but in practice the judgements often overlap with them. The final judgement in the case is expected within the next few weeks.

Robert Cyglicki, Greenpeace Poland: Today’s announcement of the opinion of the Advocate General of the EUCJ has left us feeling bittersweet. As we have mentioned many times before, Minister Szyszko and his people broke the law. There is nothing that can change the fact that 19km2 of Białowieża Forest was devastated, half of which is remnant forest and over 100 years old.  Minister Henryk Kowalczyk can no longer continue to openly praise the activities and knowledge of his predecessor. He must be severed from Jan Szyszko’s shameful legacy. Only the immediate reaction of the new minister will allow the State Forests currently under him to cease forest management, which in its entirety should be a national park.

Forest patrols on the logging site

Poland was taken to the court by the European Commission last July. Logging operations were finally mostly stopped in November, more than three months after the EUCJ had ordered the country to cease operations until the final ruling  on the case.

During last year almost 200,000m3 of timber was extracted from the forest, half of it in the most ecologically valuable areas . It is the largest wood extraction in the Białowieża Forest for thirty years. Greenpeace activists from Poland and other European countries took part in several blockades of logging operations in the Forest throughout summer and autumn last year.

Help us save Bialowieza Forest