Stop the Deforestation of Eastern European Woodlands

Target: Gerald Schweighofer, CEO of a large European lumber company

Goal: Stop construction of a lumber factory in Transylvania’s old-growth forest

The ancient forests of Transylvania in central Romania are some of the last remaining wild spaces in Europe. These expansive forests cover a huge area, providing a home for many species of bears, lynx, wolves, eagles, boars and other wildlife. Furthermore, they play an important ecological role in that these forests help in carbon sequestration, which keeps carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The large forests of Transylvania also help to purify air and water quality, stabilize soil for small-scale agriculture, and counteract the effects of erosion caused by development.

Despite all of these benefits, Transylvanian forests face an ever-increasing threat of deforestation. Many logging companies have made their way into these once pristine forests, clearing large expanses and, in doing so, causing massive destruction.

One of Europe’s largest lumber companies, Holzindustrie Schweighofer, has recently invested 150 million Euro (nearly 200 million US dollars) in the construction of a lumber factory in the Covasna County area of Transylvania. The proposed lumber factory would be the country’s fifth in Romania and possibly one of its most damaging. The company’s CEO, Gerald Schweighofer has expressed the company’s plan to process up to “800,000 cubic meters of logs annually” from this particular site. A vast majority of this processed lumber would be shipped to Asia, notably, Japan.

The logging giant has contributed significantly to the deforestation of large areas of northern Europe. According to the company’s website, “Schweighofer sawmills typically run double shifts after only three months,” and this new factory is no different. Plans to open the facility as early as 2014 are in full effect, despite protests by environmental groups that worry about the potentially disastrous effects the factory could have on the area.

The Transylvanian Wildlife Project (TWP) has expressed concerns that the construction of this new factory would be an “environmental disaster,” and worries that the “long-term future of Transylvania’s unique wilderness is under threat.”

Help preserve the beautiful and ecologically valuable forests of Transylvania by demanding that Holzindustrie Schweighofer stop its plan to build a new lumber factory in the heart of this ancient forest.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear CEO Gerald Schweighofer,

Transylvania’s old-growth forests are both intrinsically and ecologically valuable. As some of Europe’s last and most expansive, untouched areas, these forests provide a home for countless species of flora and fauna, including endangered species of bears, lynx and wolves. Furthermore, these huge forests help counteract the effects of human pollution and climate change by detaining carbon, purifying air and water quality and enriching soil.

Any deforestation can drastically decrease these natural services that Transylvanian forests provide, but especially the large-scale deforestation that would undoubtedly occur with the creation of a new lumber factory. By processing a proposed 800,000 cubic meters of logs each year, this new factory would greatly affect the forest ecosystem. The result would be a loss of habitat, and therefore a loss of invaluable wildlife, and an increase in pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases.

We cannot let the last of our very few untouched forests be destroyed. Instead, it is our duty to preserve them in order to protect long-term biodiversity and the intrinsic value of our planet. Therefore, I ask that you stop plans to build a new lumber factory in the Covasna county of Romania, and thereby help protect these ancient forests rather than destroy them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Giorgio Monteforti via Flickr

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11 Comments

  1. trackranger says:

    Thank you for your support Nicole. Here is our link for our campaign, news and updates. http://www.transylvanianwildlifeproject.com/2013/04/petition_29.html

  2. David King says:

    All forests are now vital to the survival of the human race. To fell them merely for furniture or other normal uses is irresponsible when other species of wild life depend on their survival as well as the delay to climae change which forests provide.

  3. Monica Klausen says:

    We use water and air filters because of the unconsciousness and the greed of a few people.
    And things get worse, before even we notice.
    The green or gray environment where we live affects the way we live and the way we think and relate.

  4. The majority of people living in Transylvania, speak Hungarian, and they call the land “Erdo,” which in Hungarian means “forest.”

  5. Lucy Kelly says:

    I think a good way of stopping logging would be to encourage tourism to these countries, e.g. camoing, birdwatching, wildlife tours, survival training, even boating and fishing. Anything, really, that would encourage the local people to invest in and protect their land.

    • There are a great deal of ecotours to Transylvania. Sierra Club provides one of them, through their international outings program. People can go hiking, and view the vast wildlife, i.e., brown bears, wolves, lynxes, and red deer. Also, there are 7 villages in Transylvania, that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, because of their medieval architecture and religious fresco paintings.

  6. trackranger says:

    Unfortunately members of the Transylvanian Wildlife Project are seeing far too many ‘clear cuts’ going on in the forests of Transylvania. Private ownership of the forest is continually increasing after successful land claims from the Romanian government, caused by the previous Ceausescu communist regimes land grab. The new private owners who are often poor see the selling of their trees as a quick and easy way of making money, only looking at the short term/gain without considering the impact of their decisions on the future. We believe more should be done to encourage the sustainable use of this land, such as tourism and responsible harvesting of trees, which would go a long way to maintaining this vast and unique ecosystem.

  7. Monica Klausen says:

    Can’t be the area declared as a reservation for the animals and trees? – at least a part of it.
    The biologist can’t say it is necessary for the surviving of some species? After all, they are the scientists. :)
    The trees will be cut, because of corruption and because people don’t use to observe the laws so much, but at least won’t be at an industrial scale, or on large areas, and the animals will still use this space.

  8. It is a great crime what the industrial corporations are doing in Romania, and primarily in Transylvania. The consequences of deforestation of Transylvania’s forest for the country and the entire Europe are far greater than the immediate profit of that Holzindustrie. If the Romanian goverment still have any love left for the country, and the people of Romania, this predatory deforestation of Transylvania’s forest should be stop before is to late. The predatory practice of industrial corporations should be stop in Eastern Europe. The integration of Eastern Europe into European Union was supposed to be beneficial for the people of this part of the world that suffered much under the communist system, and not to lose their identity and complete lost of their natural resources. What a shame!

  9. Adresez aceasta scurta misiva fratilor mei din Transylvania indiferent de origina lor etnica: romani, unguri, secui si sasi care or mai fi ramas. Fratilor nu va lasati tentati de puterea banilor oferiti de companiile industriale care va i-au toate bogatiile naturale. Ganditiva ce va ramane Transylvania noastra plina de legende fara paduri. Daca deforestarea se va petrece in ritmul care a inceput, Transylvania va ramane goala de paduri in 10 ani; un desert care va schimba clima in tara si in Europa dramatic. Daca pierdem ce batranii nostrii au pastrat cu credinta ceea ce au avut mai drag, padurile, mortii nostrii se vor intoarce in mormant iar copii si nepotii nostrii ne vor blestema pentru lacomia si lasitatea noastra. Destepativa fratilor pana nu este prea tarziu! Opriti deforestarea padurilor din Transylvania si intrega tara!

  10. Monica Klausen says:

    @George Stoica
    Cui te adresezi? Daca te adresezi “fratilor din Transilvania”, fii convins ca nu oamenii de rind beneficiaza de comisoioanele, ca sa ma exprim eufemistic, pe care le dau companiile care defriseaza, ca sa obtina aprobari si acorduri de mediu.
    Nu ti-e clar cine ia banii si cine aproba toate astea?
    Uite, zeci de mii de oameni au iesit la proteste pentru Rosia Montana si nu-i ia nimeni in seama, politicienii isi vad de afaceri in continuare, se planuiesc alte exploatari pe linga asta, si ce putem face mai mult decit atit? Intrebarea nu e retorica.

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