Chopping down the last pristine forest of Europe!

One of to last intact forests of Europe is under threat. Białowieża is the only lowland primeval forest in Europe. It boasts Europe’s tallest trees and largest wild mammal, the bison. Only a small portion (16%) is a national park and parts are protected by the EU and as a Unesco world heritage site. The rest is gazetted as “commercial forest”. However, in the past years, environmentalist won the battle to put logging under control: local communities were permitted to harvest 48,000 cubic metres of timber each year and the government is to allow at least 180,000 cubic metres. The new environment minister, Jan Szyszk decided to open the forest to commercial logging, claiming that the forest is “rotting away” because spruce trees are being killed by the spruce bark beetle. The battle however is not about the rotting spruces, but about the ancient trees – those are not affected by the bark beetle. And the scientists exposed the “scientific” claims of the Polish government: “If we allow it to become a managed forest, its value and its biodiversity will be lost. says to The Guardianpol Rafał Kowalczyk, director of the Mammal Research Institute inside Białowieża “It will take hundreds of years to reverse this kind of destruction.”

Sorgente: Chopping down the last pristine forest of Europe! – Salva le Foreste

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