Poland plans to resume logging in the former Bialowieza forest. Loggers no longer worked in the forest since 2018, following a judgment by the European Court of Justice. He ruled that the cutting of trees in the rainforest was illegal and that the harmful effects had not been sufficiently studied.
The Polish government now says logging is necessary to clear roads and protect trees from the spruce bark beetle. This last argument has already been put forward in 2016 and 2017 and has led to strong protests from environmental organizations, which have established themselves in the area to prevent logging.
Activists believed that Poland is using the bark beetle as an excuse to earn money from logging. The European Commission has already threatened financial penalties if Poland does not comply with the court ruling.
Poland has introduced new harvest quotas which, according to the deputy climate minister, do not contradict the court ruling. He added that in some parts of the forest no wood is cut until mating season is over and no trees are cut in parts of the forest that are over a century old.
Environmental organizations are furious, claiming the Polish government’s decision is a slap in the face.