Greenpeace launches an expedition in the Carpathians to demand strict protection
Bucharest, May 10, 2023 — After exposing aggressive logging taking place in the Carpathian forests , a team of Greenpeace activists, experts, and volunteers are embarking on a 40-day expedition across five countries of the Carpathian region, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. The mission of the so-called "Mobile Rescue Station" is to amplify the urgent need for more strict protection in Europe's last virgin and old-growth forests. Europe's second-longest mountain range, represents a crucial stronghold against the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, warns Greenpeace.
Europe’s Carpathians, an invaluable hub of biodiversity, are under unprecedented threat. The latest Greenpeace report that analyzed satellite images, revealed how much of the Carpathian forests have been impacted by production-driven industrial forestry. Alarmingly, less than 3% of these vital ecosystems are strictly protected in practice, with the majority exposed to relentless logging and exploitation. Greenpeace calls for the urgent strict enforcement of protective measures. Harmful human activities and rapid climate heating are destroying the equivalent of five football fields of Carpathian forests per hour.
Diving into not just the raw natural world, but also into the complex relationship of humans with this area, the expedition team will have a chance to meet and talk with biologists, rangers, local activists, communities and authorities, but also witness devastation of old-growth and virgin forests, or document and expose the weaknesses of current protection systems.
Irresponsible forestry practices are applied inside different protection zones across the Carpathian region, including some areas of national parks. All other protected areas, such as landscape parks or Natura 2000 sites actually allow commercial logging while supposedly being ‘protected’ by EU law. Activists claim that in some cases more trees are cut in Natura 2000 areas than in unprotected ones.
"This madness must not be ignored any longer. Just as we talk globally about the Amazon, Congo or Borneo, we cannot fail to talk in Europe about the Carpathians and their almost total lack of protection. We are all going through a series of crises (health, economic, energy, humanitarian) which have led us to de-prioritise our natural environment. This needs to change urgently. That's why we go on the field to meet people from different countries across the Carpathians who are facing similar realities: clear-cuts over large areas, mountains emptied of life by aggressive tourism, corruption, greed and indifference on the part of the companies and authorities. We need the involvement of the European community to extend the strict protection of the Carpathian forests", says Ciprian Gălușcă, Greenpeace campaigner for forests and biodiversity.
”Across Europe, people are waking up to the true threat posed by the climate and nature crisis, the collapse of our natural world. But as we do our bit to make a difference, the biggest effort needs to be made at the EU level, especially if we want to truly achieve the EU Biodiversity Strategy targets for the strict protection of 10% of lands and waters by 2030. The forests of the Carpathian mountains, one of our biggest allies against our planetary crisis, should be among the best protected regions in Europe. Yet they are being destroyed on a massive scale. We can still stop the destruction of EU natural heritage sites. But we must act now!”, adds Gălușcă.
For press inquiries, please contact:
Ciprian Gălușcă - Campaign Lead, Greenpeace CEE, firstname.lastname@example.org, +40 728 794 694
Marija Tomac - Communications Lead, Greenpeace CEE, email@example.com, +385 95 6274 528
National Press Contacts:
Romania - Cristian Neagoe, firstname.lastname@example.org, +40 728 987 982
Ukraine - Katarzyna Bilewska, email@example.com, +48 500 236 211
Hungary - Petra Berende, firstname.lastname@example.org, +36 20 412 1133
Poland - Marek Józefiak, email@example.com, +48 53 954 4538
Press Kit - Photos, videos, maps and infographics
 ‘The Carpathian forests: Our Natural heritage Under Attack’, 2022 - Greenpeace report looks into how much the Carpathian forests have been impacted by production-driven forestry and how nature conservation measures do not succeed in preserving this icon of Europe’s natural heritage.
- Press release for the report launch
 Failing nature - How life and biodiversity are destroyed in Europe, 2022 - Showcasing hotspots of nature loss across the continentGreenpeace report reveals how Europe destroys its own precious nature and biodiversity, especially by intensive animal farming and excessive forest cutting, usually for short-lived wood products like cardboard and wood burning.
Follow the Greenpeace Carpathian Expedition on:
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@GreenpeaceRomaniaCEE
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenpeace.ro
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenpeace_romania
- TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@greenpeace_ro
Bonus: Have you ever tried putting yourself in a bear's shoes in the Carpathians?