Borbely: Environment Ministry to invest over 50 million euros in afforestation in 2010

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The Ministry of the Environment and Forestry will invest over 50 million euros in afforestation in 2010 as against an unimportant sum of money in 2009, Minister of the Environment Laszlo Borbely told the meeting of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which was organized in Bucharest on Thursday.

He made it clear that Romania must make important investments in the time to come in the environment, more than 5 billion euros are to be invested in the infrastructure that is necessary for treating used waters and by 2018 another 108 ecological rubbish dumps are to be filled up. So far 139 have already been filled up.
“As the Ministry has a budget amounting to 420 million euros in 2010, despite the budget restrictions, this year we can allocate another 450 million euros for environment projects from the National Environment Fund and we have where to allocate it.

I shall give you one single example: Romania has a third of all geothermal waters in Europe. This is one of the fields where investments could be made,” said Borbely.
For 2009 Romsilva had planned to afforest about 20,000 hectares, saplings being supplied by the nurseries of the public corporation mentioned before.
Romania must afforest about two million hectares of land by 2035 in order to reach the average afforestation level of the European Union. Romania’s afforestation level is currently about 27 percent although in the field it is not above 15 percent.

In the European Union the afforestation level is 33 percent on average but there are countries, such as Austria and Germany, where it is over 40 percent and in the northern countries it is over 80 percent. The national forestry fund covers an area of 6.48 million hectares, of which Romsilva currently manages 3.5 million hectares of woods that are state property and over one million hectares of woods that are private property.

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