If forest losses continue to increase due to intensified felling and the climate crisis, many ecosystem services in forests threaten to falter. Join us in Iasi, as we tackle the question of clear cutting, illegal logging and biodiversity loss with civil society representatives, activists, concerned citizens and policymakers from Romania and abroad.
Less than 2% of Europe’s land mass is still in its initial state: untouched by human activity. Tropical forests are not the only ones being cut or burnt down for human consumption. The same happens at an alarming rate with the last virgin forests and contiguous forest areas in Central and Eastern Europe. Corruption, organised crime behind the destruction of forests and the billion-euro industry benefiting from illegal logging provide the framework for the big lumber companies to increase their profits.
In Romania, the problem of clearing forests is not new, and despite more stringent legislation in recent years, the problem persists. The economic pressure to cut as much as possible on the one hand, and the complicity of local authorities who get their share on the other, prepare the ground for a criminal network that acts against climate, nature and men–and does not even shrink back from murder.
Wood is an extremely valuable resource for Romanians. Over 50% of Romania’s households depend on wood-burning for heating. Plans to develop a sustainable heating system in the country are lagging behind and gas, its most prominent alternative, is leaving Romanians with unattainable expenses. The green transition in Bulgaria is therefore an environmental imperative, but also a social one.
Illegal logging, extensive use of biomass by various industries and an aggressive lobbying network are behind ecosystem destruction, and displaced wildlife in the European last virgin forests. The EU’s ambitions to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, while ensuring a just and socially fair transition, will pose a real challenge. However, it will also present a much needed opportunity to reverse the long-term effects, and the devastating impact that spans way beyond the Romanian national borders.
About the event
Building on its 2-year project Deforestation in Europe, the Green European Foundation will organise a 1-day event in Iasi, Romania on 9 July 2022.
The event will bring together civil society representatives, activists, concerned citizens and policymakers from Romania and abroad, with the following main objectives:
- Build common understanding on the complex systemic disfunction behind illegal logging and loss of biodiversity in Romania’s protected forests, while placing the issue in the larger European context.
- Discuss Romania’s energetic future and formulate recommendations for an energy system in accordance with national and European climate targets.
- Provide a space for experience sharing and connection between local civil society actors from Romania and other parts of Europe.
10:00-10:15 Welcome words – Ioana Banach-Sirbu, GEF Managing Director
10:15-11:30 Plenary session – Illegal Logging and the Future of Romania’s Energy System
Thomas Waitz – Green MEP and EGP Co-chair
Cătălina Rădulescu – Lawyer, Agent Green
Kalliopi Stara – Researcher, Department of Biological Applications and Technology, University of Ioannina
Mihai Diac – Founder, Codrii Iaşilor (Old Woods of Iasi)
Moderated by: Teia Ciulacu, Viitor Plus
11:30-12:00 Coffee break
12:00-13:00 Parallel sessions
Bârnova Repedea Forest, the Natural Parc of Iasi
Cătălina Rădulescu – Lawyer, Agent Green
This workshop is aimed at depicting the efforts of the civil society in protecting the aree of Iasi and will discuss the importance the forests have in the life of the local citizens and the need to ensure the protection and conservation of the biodiversity while tackling climate change.
Green Activism – From A to Z
Ion Holban – Activist, Ambassador of Codrii Iasilor & Ciprian Polenschis Activist, Member of Codrii Iasilor
In this workshop, participants will learn about practical tools and methods to engage in green activism, from forestry management monitoring and petitioning to media relations.
Rigas Tsiakiris – Forest Ecologist, Scientific Committee of the Green Institute Greece
Productive reforestation for living rural landscapes
During this workshop, participants will learn about selective management of forests in Greece. Moreover, they will explore problems and solutions concerning new challenges faced by forest workers and enterprises in the frame of the energy crisis & increased firewood demand, as well as the associated effects on biodiversity conservation in forest and agroforestry ecosystems.
15:00-18:00 Study visit – Forest visit organised in partnership with informal activist group Codrii Iașilor (Old Woods of Iasi).
18:30-21:30 Networking dinner
Date and Time: 9 July, 10am-6pm
Location: Ramada Hotel Iasi, Str. Grigore Ureche nr. 27.
Accommodation for maximum 2 nights and catering for the duration of the event will be offered free of cost by the organising partners. Transport to Iasi by train or car-sharing will be refunded.
Registration: Interested participants are invited to apply before July 3rd using this form. Due to venue limitations, participation will be limited to 50 persons.
In this publication you will find concrete recommendations on how to address the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss through policy change in the agricultural and forestry sectors, with agroforestry systems as part of the solution.
This event is organised by the Green European Foundations with the support of Agent Green and Codrii Iasilor (Old Woods of Iasi) informal activist group. With the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation. The European Parliament is not responsible for the content of this event.