Romanian environment minister announces “largest afforestation campaign of the last decade”
Romania’s acting environment minister Costel Alexe presented on February 20 the plan for the “largest afforestation campaign of the last decade.” A total of 2,500 new forests will be planted, over 1,000 hectares of unproductive public lands will be afforested and 7,000 young forests will be completed during this campaign.
Over 50 million saplings have been prepared for this year's program. Most of them, namely 33 million, will be planted during the spring campaign, while another 20 million saplings will be ready for the autumn campaign.
“Statistically speaking, if we were to make a daily average of the saplings planted in the spring, that would be half a million saplings a day,” the minister said.
A total of 13,000 afforestation sites will opened across the country in the spring campaign, and the largest number of saplings will be sent to the counties of Maramureș, Cluj, Suceava, Brașov, Sibiu, Harghita, Bistrița, Argeș, and Vâlcea. “Thus, between 1 million and 6.6 million saplings will be planted in each of these counties with heavily exploited forests,” the Environment Ministry said in a press release.
At the same time, most afforestation sites will be set up in the counties most affected by illegal logging, namely Maramureș (440 sites), Sibiu (1,210 sites) and Bistrița (over 600 sites). Meanwhile, most of the 2,500 new forests planned by the Environment Ministry will be planted in the counties of Suceava (360), Maramureș (140) and Sibiu (90).
During the same campaign, the authorities also want to start the works at the green belt of Oradea (65 hectares), and the planting of trees along the A2 motorway Constanța county (24 hectares).
NGOs, companies, local and national public authorities, schools and volunteers are expected to join this campaign.
“Forestry staff and specialized operators will plant trees in most sites. In total, we are talking about thousands of people involved. We also want the Romanians to join us! As many as possible! For them we called the campaign: The Romanians are planting: a forest as big as a country! We want March 21 to be the day when the Romanians plant trees. In each county we will have up to three sites open to those who want to help out in a campaign Romania has never seen before,” minister Costel Alexe said.
Those who want to join the campaign can fill out a form on the Environment Ministry’s website.
(Photo source: Facebook/Costel Alexe)