Photo of forest lake to illustrate story saying UNESCO: Białowieża forest logging must be stopped

UNESCO: Białowieża forest logging must be stopped

UNESCO advisers have called on the Polish Government to suspend plans for a huge increase in logging and let Białowieża Forest grow with minimal intervention.

Representatives visited the protected area after ClientEarth and six other organisations complained to the Commission about illegal plans for a huge increase of logging in Europe’s last primeval forest.

ClientEarth Lawyer Agata Szafraniuk said: “If the Government sticks to its plan for a massive increase in logging, there is a very real risk that Białowieża Forest will be put on the list of the World Heritage in Danger.”

After discussions in Istanbul last week, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee urged the Polish Government to immediately make a management plan that would protect natural processes, dead wood and old trees from human intervention.

The report leaves no doubt that interference in forest must be kept to a minimum. Experts criticised the Government for using “emergency measures” to justify the massive expansion of logging, without specifying what the measures are or inviting input from those affected.

UNESCO advisers also criticised the government for failing to assess the impact of increased logging on the ancient forest, and for ignoring the principles of protection that should be afforded to any World Heritage site. It called on the Government to suspend its logging plan and create an integrated management plan for the whole forest, as quickly as possible.

On 16 June, the European Commission started infringement proceedings against the Polish Government over its illegal plans to log the forest.

The Polish Environment Ministry has sent a confidential response, and the Commission must now decide whether to refer the case to the European Court of Justice, which could result in hefty fines for Poland.

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

PKThundr7

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

    You can help

    Your support helps us use the law to protect your environment.