Bialowieza Forest: Poland infringes European law

Poland is infringing European law on the protection of natural sites by ordering logging in the Bialowieza Forest, one of the last primeval forests in Europe.

The Judge-Advocate General made this ruling, in the European Court of Justice, on Tuesday. The judge’s conclusions which are generally followed by the ECJ, held that the logging ordered by the Polish government on health grounds are unjustified, and are likely to simply “damage” the reproduction sites of protected species.

In November, the ECJ had already prohibited Poland from cutting down trees – unless absolutely necessary to ensure public safety – accompanying its decision with a financial penalty of at least €100,000 per day upon breach of that ruling.

Bialowieza Forest is one of the last remaining parts of the once immense primeval woodland that stretched across Europe. It is home to 800 European bison and is included on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites.

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