Credit: Freepik

Greenpeace Complains To European Commission Over Poor Protection of Czech Rare Forests

The Czech Republic does not sufficiently protect rare forests in the Natura 2000 network of sites of European importance, the environmental organisation Greenpeace said today.

Greenpeace has long drawn particular attention to the authorities’ misconduct in approving forest management plans that allow logging in the Eastern Ore Mountains. Last year, for example, a private company cut down beech forests in the area above Marianske Udoli, despite not having permission from the authorities. The organisation has lodged complaints about this to the ombudsman.

Violations of the law were confirmed by the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, which nonetheless did not record any negative interference with the natural development of specially protected species of plants and animals. Greenpeace, together with the municipality of Horni Jiretin, filed a criminal complaint against the company.

According to Greenpeace, the Czech Republic is violating the EU Natura 2000 Directive by failing to adequately protect rare forests. Nature conservation authorities should also assess forest management plans, they said. The plans are crucial for forest management and conservation, as they set out forest management for the next ten years and include a logging plan.

“In the past, management plans allowing large-scale logging in the Ore Mountains were approved, even in cases where the nature protection office of the Usti nad Labem Region did not agree or did not comment on them,” said Nikol Krejcova from Greenpeace. “In addition, management is not assessed cumulatively for the whole area, so there is a risk that the oldest beech forests will disappear in the next ten years, despite being some of the most valuable forests in our country.” 

She said Greenpeace had decided to complain to the European Commission because no action had been taken following previous complaints to domestic authorities and ministries. “That is why we are now complaining to the European Commission, because it is clear that the Czech Republic is failing to protect sites of European importance,” she added.

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