Illegal logging is still widespread in Romania, despite the public effort to combat it.
A total of 9,444 cases of illegal logging were registered in Romania in 2016, which represents an average of 26 cases per day, according to a Greenpeace Romania report.
Figures show that civil society involvement played an extremely important and unprecedented role in identifying and reporting cases of illegal cuts. The citizens identified over 42% of the total cases of illegal logging, namely 3,986, the report found.
Mures leads the top of counties with the highest number of illegal logging cases registered in 2016, namely 1,057 cases (11% of the total). It is followed by Brasov county with 664 cases (7%), and Olt county with 605 cases (6%).
Over 22,260 fines were applied last year, with a total value of over RON 33 million (some EUR 7.3 million). Most of them in Arges county – 2,106 fines, Vrancea county – 1,969, and Mures county – 1,455. Based on the new legal provisions, the Police and Gendarmerie confiscated 1,146 means of transport used to carry timber without a legal origin.
With an average of 14.82 cubic meters per case, the total damage estimated by the authorities for the period 2015-2016 is RON 39.47 million (some EUR 9 million). The biggest damages were recorded in Maramures county, of RON 17.96 million (45.59% of the total value).
More than 60,000 people have installed the Forest Inspector (Inspectorul Padurii) app so far. The mobile application enables citizens to track timber trucks.
The National Forestry Directorate Romsilva announced in early-May that the illegal logging in the state forests it manages has decreased by 20.86% in volume year-on-year, from 10,782 cubic meters in the first quarter of 2016 to 8,533 cubic meters in the same period of this year. Moreover, the damage caused by these actions totaled RON 2.27 million (over EUR 0.5 million) in the January-March period of 2017, down from the RON 3.2 million registered in the same period of the previous year.
Irina Popescu, [email protected]