In a move hailed for its environmental foresight, the European Commission has given its nod to Romania’s state aid plan worth €200 million. The funds are intended to compensate forest owners for refraining from felling trees, thus preserving the pristine beauty of woodlands in alignment with ecological imperatives.
As outlined by the EC, the scheme will adopt the form of direct subsidies granted to forest owners. These custodians of the woodland realm will receive remuneration until the year 2027, contingent upon their pledge to spare the trees the axe.
The Commission underscored the ambition to stem and reverse the disheartening trend of biodiversity loss, elevate ecosystem services, and safeguard habitats and landscapes. This initiative, the Commission noted in a statement, was both indispensable and apt, providing the much-needed bolster to the forestry sector.
Romania has, for some time, felt the weight of EU pressure to curb illegal deforestation—a longstanding issue the nation has wrestled with.
In a display of resolve, the EC initiated legal proceedings against Romania back in 2020 for its alleged failure to shield forests within the EU’s Natura 2000 protected areas network. The aim: to halt illicit tree felling in its tracks.