Poland violated European Union laws by logging in Białowieża forest, court rules

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

The decision comes after the European Commission launched its infringement procedure to stop large-scale logging last July over concerns it would negatively affect conservation efforts and threaten the integrity of the site protected under the EU's Natura 2000 program.

At least 10,000 trees have been felled in Białowieża, one of Europe's last parcels of primaeval woodland, since the former Polish environment minister, Jan Szyzko tripled logging limits there in 2016.

The ruling Tuesday by the European Court of Justice said that, in increasing logging in the Bialowieza Forest, Poland failed to fulfil its obligations to protect natural sites of special importance.

Poland had argued that felling the trees was necessary to fight the spread of bark beetle infestation. "Hundreds of people were heavily engaged in saving this unique, ancient woodland from unthinkable destruction".

Warsaw in 2016 authorized a almost three-fold increase in logging operations in the Białowieża Forest district and also authorized logging in other areas.

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