Today Greenpeace published the map of deforested areas in Romania, between 2000-2011, asking the Minister of Environment and Forestry to take urgent measures to protect forests.

Bucharest, 14 May 2012 – Today Greenpeace published the map of deforested areas[1] in Romania, between 2000-2011, asking the Minister of Environment and Forestry to take urgent measures to protect forests.

According to the results[2] of the Greenpeace study, over 3 hectares of forest are disappearing in Romania every hour.

Approximately 29% of Romania’s surface is covered with forests, compared to the average of European Union countries, which is 42%[3]. Most of Romania’s forests are concentrated in the mountain area.

The Greenpeace study reveals that almost half of deforested surfaces between 2000-2011, more precisely, 48,95%, are located within the current protected areas[4]. Even worst is that even virgin forests are affected, these are among the most valuable. Compared to other countries in Europe, where only smaller areas of virgin forests are left, România has 218.500 hectares of virgin forests[5]. 

The Greenpeace study shows that the total deforested and degraded area between 2000 and 2011 has been of 280,108 hectares – approximately 28,000 hectares per year. The most affected counties are Suceava, Harghita, Arges, Maramures and Cluj[6],” declared Doina Danciu, campaigner at Greenpeace Romania.

Deforestations are a large-scale phenomena, especially in mountain counties, and the authorities have the responsibility to manage and monitor the forestry interventions. Also, if illegal logging occurs, the authorities have the responsibility to make inspections and apply punishments – and where necessary, file criminal complaints.

A  research[7] made by Greenpeace Romania shows that between 2009 and 2011 there have been over 30,000 cases of illegal logging registered by the authorities, where sanctions were applied (fines or criminal complaints have been filed, depending on the gravity of the deed). The most cases of illegal logging were found in Arges county (over 6,000), Gorj (2,500), Prahova (over 2,000), Bacau (almost 2,000). The smallest number of illegal logging was registered in Giurgiu and Teleorman counties, with 8 and 39 cases – in these areas the forest covered area is significantly smaller than other counties.

[1] The term `deforested area` referrs to any area where, in the time analysed, the forest has transformed into a non-forest land or was significantly fragmented by selective logging or other antropic or natural processes.

[2] The research was made by Greenpeace experts, using geographical information systems (GIS) and can be accessed here. In this research forest areas smaller than one hectar were not included. In this research the term `forest` was used to define an area of one hectar, with at least 20% coverage with trees of over 5 meters in height.

[4] Protected areas in Romania are represented, mainly, by national and natural parks (there are 29 of them), as well as by the Natura 2000 sites, which are, up to now, 383 sites of communitary importance (SCI) and 148 special protection avifaunistic areas (SPA). The protected areas are managed under Law no.49/2011 regarding the regime of natural protected areas, conservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna.

[5] According to the ICAS study, launched in 2005 containing data from 2003:

[7] Data available here