Illegal Logging Threatens Rare Forests in the Czech Republic: Greenpeace Investigation

A recent investigation conducted by the environmental organization Greenpeace has revealed that precious old wood from the Krušné Mountains in northwest Bohemia and the Ždánický Forest in southern Moravia is being illegally logged and reduced to firewood or shipped to factories abroad. These unique ecosystems, known for their ancient beech forests, are at risk of destruction despite being designated as European Sites of Community Importance, which should afford them protection.

Greenpeace’s investigation has exposed the extent of unauthorized logging in the Eastern Krušné Mountains, leading to the filing of a criminal complaint against the company Royal Pine by Greenpeace and the town of Horní Jiřetín. The forests in the Krušné Mountains are not only vital for the well-being of local communities but also serve as habitats for numerous endangered and protected species. The devastation caused by illegal logging has prompted outrage and concern from local authorities and environmental activists.

The Ždánický Forest faces a similar predicament, where only a small portion of its total area is protected, with the majority categorized as a natural park, offering the lowest level of environmental protection. These forests play a crucial role in water retention, air flow regulation, and biodiversity conservation. Furthermore, the Ždánický Forest is home to rare and unique species like the black stork.

The investigation has also uncovered the export of massive trunks from the Ždánický Forest to other countries, with Slovakia identified as one of the destinations. These timber exports are utilized in the production of various products, including paper bags and cardboard boxes.

As a result of the widespread and excessive logging, local residents are disheartened and have stopped visiting the forest due to the sight of devastation and large woodpiles along forest paths. The situation has become increasingly dire, with long-felled trunks left unused and discarded in dumps.

In response to these findings, it is imperative for the Czech Republic to take immediate action to protect these rare and valuable forests. Preserving and safeguarding these ecosystems is not only vital for the conservation of biodiversity but also essential for the well-being of local communities and the preservation of the country’s natural heritage. The illegal logging practices must be addressed to ensure the sustainable future of these forests.

Article by Prague Forum

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