- Title: EU seeks court order for immediate halt to logging in Poland's ancient forest
- Date: 13th July 2017
- Summary: BIALOWIEZA FOREST, POLAND (FILE - â€ªMAY 29â€¬, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS TREES INFECTED BY BARK BEETLE MARKED WITH "X" SIGN INDICATING NEED FOR IMMEDIATE LOGGING VARIOUS TREES INFECTED BY BARK BEETLE MARKED FOR LOGGING LOGGED SPRUCE INFECTED BY BARK BEETLE BIALOWIEZA FOREST, POLAND (â€ªFILE - MAY 27â€¬, 2016) (REUTERS) LOGGED SPRUCES LYING NEXT TO TOURIST INFORMATION SIGN LOGGED SPRUCES LOGGED SPRUCES LYING NEXT TO TOURIST SIGNS TOURISTS RIDING BIKES NEXT TO LOGGED TREES BIALOWIEZA FOREST, POLAND (FILE - â€ªMAY 29â€¬, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FIELD FULL OF SPRUCE STUMPS
- Embargoed: 27th July 2017 14:04
- Keywords: European Commission Bialowieza Forest UNESCO world heritage site Logging EU Law Court
- Location: BIALOWIEZA FOREST, POLAND AND BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BIALOWIEZA FOREST, POLAND AND BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0046PJXFLL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Commission demanded on Thursday (July 13) Poland cut back logging in its ancient Bialowieza Forest, saying it had sought a court order from the European Court of Justice for an immediate halt to the activity.
Bialowieza Forest, located on Poland's eastern border with Belarus, is one of the last and largest remaining areas of the primeval forest that once covered much of Europe.
The Commission said logging included century-old trees and poses a major threat to the integrity of the forest, which is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and by the EU as a Natura 2000 site.
Tripling the quota of wood that can be harvested, the Polish government has argued that the logging is needed to protect against beetles.
Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko, privately a keen hunter backed by a powerful forester and hunter lobby groups in office, has said that logging is what the local communities want to protect the forest that provides their livelihood.
He also said that concern by international institutions over the logging was inspired by media with "leftist and liberal leanings".
The confrontation over Bialowieza Forest is the latest clash between Brussels and Warsaw's eurosceptic government.
The Commission last month launched infringement proceedings over its refusal to take in asylum seekers who come ashore in Italy and Greece and is also demanding the Polish government change legislation which Brussels says harms democratic institutions.
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