The Battle of Białowieża continues

Published on 04 September 2017 in News and comment

In recent weeks there have been further developments in the battle to save one of Europe’s most important sites for wildlife, the Białowieża Forest. In July, the European Commission lodged a lawsuit against Poland in the European Court of Justice and called for an immediate cessation of logging in the forest, while the UNESCO World Heritage Committee adopted a decision urging Poland to immediately halt all logging in the old-growth forests of Białowieża.

In June and July, a great many protests against the logging in one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests took places in Poland’s biggest cities. The largest was on 25th June when more than 5,000 people marched through the streets of Warsaw. It was the largest march in defence of nature in Polish history! Almost the whole scientific community in Poland (including all the rectors of the University of Life Sciences) wrote to the Polish Prime Minister protesting against the logging in Białowieża. And now there’s a ban on public access to the forest, except for foresters and the logging companies. Greenpeace activists who block the entry of heavy equipment for logging are forcibly removed and punished. Meanwhile, the Polish Government ignores the protests, and the logging continues. It’s quite simply a disgrace.

(Contributed by Łukasz Ławicki)