Illegal logging caused damages of some EUR 52.1 million (almost RON 231 million) in Romania in 2013-2014, the damages in Alba, Cluj, and Maramures counties amounting to 79% of the total, according to a recent report of Greenpeace Romania.
A total of 45,502 cases of illegal lodging were registered in Romania in 2013-2014, which represents an average of 62 cases per day. The number is higher than in 2009-2011, when there were 28 cases of illegal lodging per day, and compared to 2012 (50 cases per day).
The authorities found that more than 1 million cubic meters of wood were cut illegally in the 2013-2014 period or 22 cubic meters per case. The figure is higher than the 120,836 cubic meters registered in 2012, and the 452,842 cubic meters reported for the 2009-2011 period.
Arges county registered the largest number of illegal logging cases in 2013-2014 – more than 5,800 (or 12.85% of the total), followed by Bacau county – 3,583 (7.77%), and Mures county – 3,351 (7.36%).
However, according to Greenpeace, there is a big discrepancy between the number of cases of illegal logging and the volume of timber illegally extracted from each county. Thus, although Cluj, Alba, and Maramures reported a lower number of cases compared to other counties, they registered the highest average volume per case. In 2013-2014, 78% of the total volume of illegally harvested timber was registered in Cluj (37%), Alba (23%), and Maramures (18%).
The highest average damages were also registered in these three counties.
When it comes to reducing illegal lodging in Romania, Greenpeace proposes harsher punishments, a better collaboration between the institutions with control duties, and an improved Forest Radar.
The Forest Radar is a system that allows tracking the timber from the woods to the processing plants.
Romania has 6.5 million hectares of woodland, over a third of which are certified forests. Some 3 hectares of woodland are destroyed each hour, according to Greenpeace.
Irina Popescu, [email protected]