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Logging in primaeval Polish forest against EU law: top EU court adviser

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 20.02.2018 12:35
European Court of Justice Advocate General Yves Bot has said that Poland violated EU law by logging in its primaeval Białowieża forest.
Photo: Pixabay/mw85/CC0 Creative CommonsPhoto: Pixabay/mw85/CC0 Creative Commons

Bot said that felling operations were “liable to result in a deterioration of the breeding sites of protected species.”

The opinion is not binding on the EU’s top court but usually refelects the institution’s final ruling, which is to be reached in a few days, Poland's IAR news agency reported.

Bot backed the European Commission’s charges that cutting down trees in the forest violates birds and habitats protection rules.

In 2016, the then environment minister, Jan Szyszko, authorised logging at the site, claiming that it was necessary to ensure safety in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed forest in Poland's northeast, which is home to the European bison and a number of bird species.

In November, heavy equipment was withdrawn from the old-growth forest and logging operations came to a halt, prompting the European Commission to refrain from motioning for fines for Poland.

Even if the European Court of Justice issues a ruling in line with the advocate general’s opinion, the case against Poland may still be dropped provided that logging operations are not continued in the forest, the IAR news agency reported.

Poland's new environment minister, Henryk Kowalczyk, said on February 15 that logging in Białowieża would not be resumed. (aba/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP

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