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Reconsideration of entry into the Polish jungle of Pyaloviza, Europe’s last major forest

The Polish ministry has said it wants to cut down trees in the old development forest to access roads.Image REUTERS

In 2018, a European court in Luxembourg ruled that deforestation was a violation of European environmental regulations. Partially a national park and the primary forest located in both Poland and Belarus, Natura 2000 is on the European list of protected areas. In February, the European Commission issued another formal warning to the Polish government and threatened financial sanctions if it did not comply with the court ruling.

However, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Edward Sierra told a news conference on Tuesday that the government was following the rules. For example, one hundred year old trees will not be cut down. Also, Sierra says the hood is essential. Registration keeps roads in the forest accessible, provides firewood for locals and fights against the beetle species spruce beetle, which is harmful to trees.

Environmentalists, however, fear the logging could spread to other parts of the forest and cause old trees to die. Adam Botan of the Polish environmental NGO Djika Polka (Wild Poland) calls these projects ‘a ghost in the face’ and raises the issue with important organizations. Late this month there is a great deal of resistance against entry into the Polish jungle in general. On World Forest Day March 21, protesters want to protest in more than 20 forests.

Looking for profit

The primary forest has been a hot topic in Polish politics since 2015. After the government of the right-wing Nationalist Law and Justice (PIS) party took office, the government decided to register three times as much in the primitive jungle. These projects met with great opposition from ecologists and environmental activists. They say the typewriter’s argument is nonsense. Cutting down precious wood can be motivated by the pursuit of profit. This political struggle has intensified since 2016 and has calmed down somewhat two years after the European Court of Justice ruling. Now the conflict threatens to erupt again.

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The discussion around the primary forest is an expression of the deep separation of spirits in Polish environmental policy. On the one hand, there is the Bais government, which, based on its right-wing nationalist and Christian democratic principles, teaches the rule of man over nature. Polish forestry, which supports human intervention in natural resources, supports this. Ecologists, on the other hand, prefer to take nature for granted. And environmental activists, acting as protectors of this unique European nature. This discrepancy is also reflected in the debate in Poland about poaching of wild boars, which were massively shot in 2016 to prevent the spread of swine flu. The wolf is also under discussion. The wolf is still a protected species, but there have been calls to reopen the hunt after several incidents in which wolves attacked animals or humans.