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Save the Carpathian forests! 

Save the Carpathian forests! 

The Carpathians are one of the most important nature refuges in Europe and a vital ally in fighting climate change and loss of biodiversity. Brown bears, wolves, lynx and bison still roam the lands along with thousands of other species, including many facing extinction in Europe. With large areas of irreplaceable old-growth and virgin forests, the region also stores massive amounts of carbon. Yet, as you read this, the forests are being destroyed. In fact, an area of the Carpathian forests roughly the size of five football pitches is extracted every single hour. We must act now! Join us in calling on European and national political leaders to create a transnational protection plan to end irresponsible forestry and protect this European natural treasure.

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Act now to ban irresponsible logging and new forestry roads in the Carpathian forests! 

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The Carpathians are one of the most important nature refuge in Europe and a vital ally in fighting climate change and loss of biodiversity. Brown bears, wolves, lynx and bison still roam the lands along with thousands of other species, including many facing extinction in Europe. With large areas of irreplaceable old-growth and virgin forests, the region also stores massive amounts of carbon. Yet, as you read this, the forests are being destroyed. In fact, an area of the Carpathian forests roughly the size of five football pitches is extracted every single hour. We must act now! Join us in calling on European and national political leaders to create a transnational protection plan to end irresponsible forestry and protect European natural treasure. 

What’s the issue?

  • Less than 3.5% of Carpathian forests is free from logging and other human intervention.

  • The current protection system is patchy and fragmented across different countries.

  • Irresponsible forestry prioritises wood extraction over ecosystem protection and the wellbeing of local communities.

  • Wildlife habitats are destroyed by dense forestry roads that leave behind scorched lands and enable flash floods.

What’s the solution?

  • A transnational protection plan for the Carpathians, funded by the EU, that essentially enforces the EU’s 2030 biodiversity protection targets.

  • An immediate ban on irresponsible logging.

  • A 10-year ban on new forestry roads and the establishment of areas of strict non-intervention.

  • A comprehensive development plan for local economies with appropriate funding for communities.

  • Taking global market pressure off the Carpathian forests and ensuring company supply chains no longer support the destruction of this unique ecosystem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear President of the European Commission, Executive Vice President, Commissioner for Environment, and national leaders of respective Carpathian countries

Nature, our life support system, is at great risk. And with it, so is humanity. Yet the destruction of the natural world continues in Europe, even in officially ‘protected’ areas. In light of the worsening planetary crisis, it is crucial to safeguard fragile ecosystems and the incredible wildlife they support. This can be done, but the clock is ticking.

For centuries, the Carpathian forests have been one of the largest wildlife refuges in Europe.
But in recent decades, protection mechanisms have become increasingly and dangerously fragmented. In the last two decades alone, we have lost 7.4% of tree cover in the precious Carpathian forests, an area twice as large as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Budapest, Brussels, and Warsaw combined. Predominantly due to logging and other extractive human activities, the forests have also become vulnerable to natural disturbances, like strong winds and bark beetle outbreaks.

Old-growth forests are a critical part of the web of life with a vast potential to restore vital, functioning ecosystems and store huge amounts of carbon. Yet irresponsible forestry is still happening, even in national parks, as is the construction of new forestry roads. This is harmful for wildlife, soil, and water retention. If such destruction continues, we will lose our chance to protect what protects us, and the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 will remain only on paper. 


You have the power to change this. You can stop the ongoing destruction by putting the Carpathians at the top of the political agenda, by recognizing their importance and by developing a strong action plan to protect them effectively.

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Dear President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkevičius, and national leaders of respective Carpathian countries,

Nature, our life support system, is at great risk. And with it, so is humanity. Yet the destruction of the natural world continues in Europe, even in officially ‘protected’ areas. In light of the worsening planetary crisis, it is crucial to safeguard fragile ecosystems and the incredible wildlife they support. This can be done, but the clock is ticking. You have the responsibility to act now and stop the destruction of nature across Europe before it’s too late. Loose protection targets have proven insufficient to preserve and restore Europe’s most valuable habitats. Strict and legally binding protection targets under the EU Biodiversity Strategy are vital.

For centuries, the Carpathian forests have been one of the largest wildlife refuges in Europe, home to many thousands of species including bears, wolves, lynx, bison and golden eagles. But in recent decades, protection mechanisms have become increasingly and dangerously fragmented. This, along with irresponsible logging practices, has resulted in the loss of many areas of highly valuable forests. Until now, forestry has been oriented towards irresponsible timber production and exploitation. In the last two decades alone, we have lost 7.4% of tree cover in the precious Carpathian forests, an area twice as large as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Budapest, Brussels, and Warsaw combined. Predominantly due to logging and other extractive human activities, the forests have also become vulnerable to natural disturbances, like strong winds and bark beetle outbreaks.

Old-growth forests are a critical part of the web of life with a vast potential to restore vital, functioning ecosystems and store huge amounts of carbon. Yet irresponsible forestry is still happening, even in national parks, as is the construction of new forestry roads. This is harmful for wildlife, soil and water retention. If such destruction continues, we will lose our chance to protect what protects us and the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 will remain only on paper.

You have the power to change this. You can stop the ongoing destruction by putting the Carpathians at the top of the political agenda, by recognising their importance and by developing a strong action plan to protect them effectively.

The Carpathian forests should not be a commodity, but an asset for local communities. Wildlife conservation and the wellbeing of local people must be made a priority over quick profit for greedy companies. There should be an EU funded plan that provides sufficient nature protection together with a decent life for local communities. This plan should map, protect and restore old growth forests. It should provide a network of interconnected, non-intervention areas to conserve the region’s large-scale ecosystems. And it should establish roadless areas to conserve habitats for many rare species, including brown bear and lynx.

While this action plan is prepared and set in motion, we need to stop the immediate destruction. We urge you to support and introduce an immediate ban on irresponsible logging in the Carpathian forests along with a 10-year moratorium on new forestry roads.

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Greenpeace 2024

Photo Credits: owl - Grzegorz Leśniewski, lynx - Tomáš Hulík, Carpathian landscape - Adam Ławnik