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State Forests felling trees despite ministry’s decision, activists warn

State Forests felling trees despite ministry’s decision, activists warn

Image source: © canva
Marta Grzeszczuk,
05.04.2024 11:30

Activists from Pracownia na Rzecz Wszystkich Istot Association reported that one forest division continues cutting down trees despite a Ministry of Climate and Environment ban. Are changes in the State Forests not effective?

On 8 January 2024, the Ministry of Climate and Environment implemented strict restrictions on economic activities in ten valuable Polish forests. One of the areas protected by Minister Paulina Henning-Kloska's order was to be forests near Iwonicz-Zdrój. The order prohibits the felling of trees for farming purposes in this region starting from 30 March.

Activists report tree felling near Iwonicz-Zdrój

Activists from the Pracownia na Rzecz Wszystkich Istot Association have reported that they have evidence that the Dukla forest division, supervised by the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno, is still cutting down trees near Iwonicz-Zdrój. According to the website pracownia.org.pl, "The Dukla forest division's continuation of felling trees violates the government's order and undermines the State Forests management's declarations about improving the protection of the forests' nature."

Activists demand introducing reforms in Polish State Forests

"The State Forests have once again proved that they are an untrustworthy institution and do not respect established regulations. This action shows how much the State Forests disregard both the new authorities at the Ministry of Climate and Environment and the public, which demands the protection of nature. This scandal clearly demonstrates that a thorough reform of State Forests is necessary and urgent," Radosław Ślusarczyk of Pracownia na Rzecz Wszystkich Istot concluded.

We have previously written about the controversy surrounding the State Forests' tree felling and sale activities under the Law and Justice government. In July 2023, lawyers from ClientEarth filed a complaint against Poland with the European Commission due to serious concerns about the legality of timber trading in our country. ClientEarth is an international non-governmental organisation that focuses on fighting environmental law violations.

After the current government coalition came to power, changes were made in the management of the State Forests. Previously, the management was composed of people linked to Zbigniew Ziobra's Solidarna Polska party, but they began to be replaced. The new director general of the State Forests is Witold Kloss, a long-time employee who openly opposed the previous management before the government change. According to gwarek.com.pl, 17 out of 38 forest district managers across the country have been discharged so far.

Source: pracownia.org.pl

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