Polish Government Is Asked By The EU Court To Stop Logging In The Bialowieza Forest
The top court of the European Union has recently ordered the Polish government to stop logging in the Bialowieza forest. It is one of the primeval forests in Europe.
Bialowieza forest, straddling Poland's border with another country Belarus, is the UNESCO Heritage Site. The forest is the home of many beautiful birds, insects, and the popular European bison. The executive commission of the EU sued Poland at the ECJ or the European Court of Justice regarding the logging in this ancient forest. The ECJ has recently given an interim decision and has asked the Polish government to stop the logging immediately.
The decision says that the logging could bring very serious damage to the Bialowieza forest. It will take some more time to have a conclusion of the main case filed against the Polish government. The commission has stated that the logging clearly violates the laws of the wildlife protection. So far the environment ministry of Poland has not uttered any word about the ECJ announcement.
The ministry only says that the Bialowieza forest needs protection from the beetle invasion, The Guardian reported. Currently, the PiS or the Law and Justice party is sitting in the Polish government. Notably, the environmentalists have claimed that no impacts by the beetles were visible among the majority of the fallen trees. The environmentalists have been protesting against this act, and the UNESCO has even urged the Poland to suspend the logging.
Lawyer of the environmentalist group ClientEarth, Agata Szafraniuk, utters significantly about the situation. The lawyer says that a serious conflict could take place with the EU law if the Polish authorities don't abide by the ECJ decision. Environment minister of the Polish government, Jan Szyszko, stated that above one million trees need to be cut down in the current year. The minister suggests that the step must be taken to prevent the beetle invasion.
According to Phys.org, the Polish government has authorized the logging in the Bialowieza Forest from May 2016. Poland's right wing government has suggested that the purpose of this act is to contain the caused by beetle infestation. Another important reason the Polish authorities have shown is to fight against the risk of the forest fires.
But, the environmentalists opine differently. They say that original motives of the Polish government's Environment minister are economic and political. According to the environmentalists, increased logging helps the local community to earn more revenues, and this enhances the support for the PiS.
The Wild Poland Foundation, a green group, revealed that almost half of the sold wood came from the trees that were 100 years old. The Polish government has not yet reacted to the interim decision of the ECJ. But if Poland faces defeat at the ECJ, then the country has to bear a hefty amount as fine, and penalties for every day.