Poland’s environment minister to talk primaeval forest in Brussels
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Environment Minister Henryk Kowalczyk is set to discuss logging operations in Poland’s primaeval forest with EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella in Brussels on Wednesday.
Photo: Pixabay/staboslaw/CCO Creative Commons
Kowalczyk is expected to inform the European Commission on future steps regarding the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Białowieża forest in Poland's northeast, the Polish IAR news agency reported.
The meeting comes a day after European Court of Justice Advocate General Yves Bot issued an opinion declaring that Poland violated EU law by logging in the old-growth forest.
Bot backed the European Commission’s charges that cutting down trees in the forest violates birds and habitats protection rules.
The opinion is not binding on the EU’s top court but usually reflects the institution’s final ruling, which is to be reached in a few weeks, IAR said.
Kowalczyk said Poland would comply with any ruling on the issue.
In 2016, the then environment minister, Jan Szyszko, authorised logging at the site, claiming that it was necessary to ensure safety in the forest, which is home to the European bison and a number of bird species.
Even if the European Court of Justice decides that Poland breached EU directives, no sanctions may follow as the European Commission did not move for any fines for Poland.
Poland's new environment minister, Henryk Kowalczyk, said on February 15 that logging operations in Białowieża would not be continued. (aba/vb)