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Save the forests of Transylvania!

Save the forests of Transylvania!


Why this is important

Update: April 30th, 2015 The situation is far worse now. The EIA has performed an undercover investigation of Holzindustrie Schweighofer in Romania and it is now proven that they are willfully processing illegally cut timber. However their factories remain open and fully operational?

Update: February 6th, 2015
Well it appears that the Austrian wood processing company Holzindustrie Schweighofer has been accepting illegally cut timber from one of Romania's most biodiverse national parks, Retezat. Gabriel Paun, Director of the Romanian environmental organisation Agent Green has tracked (at great personal risk) trees felled in the park all the way to the front gates of Holzindustrie Schweighofer's plant is Sebes. Here wood is processed to make briquettes and pellets which are then sold in supermarkets abroad e.g. SPAR, Shell petrol stations and DIY stores such as OBI. Please do not buy any of these products for your heating systems!

Update: November 2nd 2014
Well it appears that all of our concerns about Holzindustrie Schweighofer are well founded. The president of Asociatia Composesorala Borsa describes the company as a "cancer" that came to Romania. He says in this article that lorries (as seen in the film) with registration plates covered, deliver the logs to Holzindustrie Schweighofer, and with no verification as to where the wood has come from, the Austrian company then process it with no questions asked! The PRO TV commentator describes the once pristine forests of Borsa now look like a nuclear bomb has been dropped on them. Clear cutting of forests for miles on end. This illegal deforestation is a crime on such a massive scale and we need the EU to step in to stop it as the Romanian authorities are doing nothing! You will see the bullet holes in the windscreen and body of the vehicle in the news article below. This is what happens when you get too close to the areas of illegal logging activity. This mafia style activity is organised by the rich and corrupt. The guy talking in this news article is the president of the Asociatia Composesorala Borsa, who have land/forestry rights in this area. He says that trees are being felled on land that his members own, but when he protested about this, the mafia tried to dynamite his house and then tried to burn it down with molotov cocktails. The people behind this deforestation are very dangerous indeed, using tactics befitting of the wild west and not the EU. You have to question why the police and authorities are not tackling this problem, especially when cars are riddled with bullets. Some would suggest they stand idly by because they are involved too.The above is happening in the north of the country, so we are trying to prevent the same happening in Covasna and Harghita counties. The Holzindustrie Schweighofer plant remains under construction in Reci, Covasna county, but it is never too late to pull the plug on a project that will ultimately 'eat' your environment.Please copy and paste the link below into your web browser. This news article is spoken in the Romanian language, but the images speak louder than words!

Update: June 15th 2013
- No Environmental Impact Assessment! I have recently been informed that no Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) have been performed or published before local authorities in Covasna county granted planning permission for the construction of the Holzindustrie Schweighofer wood processing plant in Reci! So the 'green light' has been given to this Austrian company to process 800.000 cbm of logs annually before knowing how this project will impact on the local environment or population. We believe this to be outrageous, and blatantly prioritises money and profit over any concerns for the long term impact on the environment.

About my petition 'Save the forests of Transylvania':-Why are the Carpathian forests Transylvania so important to all of Europe and why should they be protected? Here are four facts that you should know about:-

1. The Carpathians are a vital watershed for Central Europe, feeding the major rivers of this region.

2. The Carpathians act as a bridge between Europe’s northern and southwestern forests, the range serves as a biological corridor for the dispersal of plants and animals throughout Europe.

3. Though approximately 16% of the ecosystem is under some form of protection, logging, hunting, and development threaten to break this critical corridor link.

4. The Carpathians steeply sloped forests provide habitat for the largest populations in Europe of brown bear, wolf and lynx, as well as over one third of all European plant species.
Holzindustrie Schweighofer, one of the biggest lumber companies in Europe is investing 150 million Euro for a lumber factory in Reci, Covasna county, beginning operations in 2014. They already have four factories in Romania with a total annual turnover of 500 million Euro (2012). They plan to process 800.000 cbm of logs annually from the Reci site alone! 80 % of the produced lumber will be exported to Asia, mostly Japan. Existing mills in Siret and Comanesti will be supplied with raw material by the new plant too. Gerald Schweighofer, the Austrian who owns Holzindustrie Schweighofer earns over one million Euro a week (net profit) from Romanian wood. Please write to Gerald Schweighofer and ask him with all due respect, to leave Transylvania's forests alone. I believe that wood processing on this scale will quickly lead to environmental disaster, resulting in the loss of the vast virgin forests of the Carpathian range (the lungs of Europe). We would prefer that these forests remain standing, and not cut down to increase the profits of already rich people!

Posted May 7, 2013
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