snowy forest for story saying Check needed to keep Bialowieza off World Heritage in Danger list – UNESCO advisors

Check needed to keep Bialowieza off World Heritage in Danger list – UNESCO advisors

UN advisors have called on the Polish government to allow officials to check whether illegal logging means Bialowieza forest should go on the World Heritage in Danger list.

Advisors from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which helps UNESCO make decisions about its world heritage protection, published their latest conclusions on Friday 2nd June.

They are extremely critical of the intense logging in Bialowieza, and accuse Polish authorities of exaggerating safety threats as an excuse to log more trees. They call on the government to stop commercial timber harvesting in Bialowieza Forest immediately.

ClientEarth lawyer Agata Szafraniuk said: “For the second year in a row, UNESCO advisors warned that the Polish government has not assessed the impact such intense logging would have on the unique features of the forest, which are the reason it was added to the World Heritage List. Nevertheless, the forest authorities went ahead with felling.

“Continuation of logging can have very serious consequences, including putting Bialowieza Forest on the List of World Heritage in Danger. This is the first step to removing its UNESCO status.”

Bialowieza is the oldest forest in Europe, home to many rare birds, animals and plants. The Polish government’s decision to massively increase logging in the unique site breaches EU nature law, and is being investigated by the European Commission after a complaint from ClientEarth and six other campaign groups.

The report comes a week after the 27 May deadline for the Polish government to reply to the European Commission’s final warning over the illegal tripling of logging in Europe’s last primeval forest. The Polish Environment Minister had to justify why he decided to permit logging that breaches EU laws. The European Commission received the answer on time, the Polish Press Agency reports, and will say whether it is referring the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union in the next few weeks.

Join the legal fight to protect Białowieża Forest, and we’ll let you know what you can do to help. This is your chance to stand up to illegal logging and make sure people and the planet are put first.

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!


Related articles

More from or

  • Bialowieza Forest tree trunk

    15 judges at the EU’s highest court to rule on illegal logging in Białowieża Forest

    Judges from the EU’s highest Court have heard arguments from Poland’s Environment Minister and the EU Commission on illegal logging in Białowieża Forest.

  • Two orca fins in black water

    Can eco-labels really save our marine life?

    The EU and the UK have introduced new measures to stop the growing amount of plastics ending up in our oceans. But how much will this help the growing crisis affecting our marine life?

  • running in autumn forest for story saying interim fines requested in legal fight over Bialowieza Forest

    Commission calls for fines as European Court of Justice hears case over illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest

    The Commission has today called on the EU’s most senior judges to impose fines on the Polish side for illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest, as the European Court of Justice was deliberating whether an emergency ban on logging in should be upheld.

  • swans in the evening light

    Polish new Water Law remains detrimental for environment

    A new Water Law was signed this month by the Polish president. It is a response to the 2016 Court of Justice ruling that Poland had failed to implement Water Framework Directive. Although this new piece of legislation was meant to fully implement the EU law, it contains provisions that are likely to have a largely negative impact on the environment.

  • Follow us


    Get our regular email newsletters, they contain the latest updates on our work as well as features and articles about environmental issues, science and politics.