Photo of bird in forest to illustrate story saying European Parliament condemns Polish Government plans for illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest

European Parliament condemns Polish Government plan to log Białowieża Forest

MEPs have condemned the Polish Government for a slew of legal breaches, including illegal logging in Białowieża Forest.

The resolution comes as the Commission is investigating the Polish Government, after it illegally permitted a huge increase in logging in the UNESCO protected site.

ClientEarth lawyer Agata Szafraniuk said: “The resolution shows Europe is watching, and the Polish Government cannot breach EU law with impunity.

Its decision to increase logging three-fold in some parts of Białowieża Forest led to a legal complaint from ClientEarth and other campaigners, and the Commission responded swiftly. This shows the importance of protecting Europe’s last primeval forest.

“We hope the Polish Government will reconsider its destructive decision to log Białowieża, for the sake of people and the planet.”

Białowieża Forest is home to some of the best preserved woodland in Europe. Most Polish and European scientists agree that more logging would be disastrous for this finely balanced ecosystem, home to rare birds and animals not found anywhere else in Europe.

ClientEarth analysis also shows it would be illegal, because the Polish Government did not properly assess the impact increased logging would have on the flora and fauna of Białowieża. This is a breach of EU nature law.

European Parliament condemns Polish Government

More than 160,000 people in Poland have protested against the plans, yet Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko is so far persevering.

As wells as the European Commission’s legal proceedings against the Polish Government, the Council of Europe has postponed the award of the European Diploma of Forest Protected Areas, and UNESCO has expressed concern.

ClientEarth has called for all plans for increased logging in Białowieża to be scrapped, and for this ancient forest to protected from decisions which prioritise profit over the environment and communities which depend on it.

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Adrianna Calvo

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