Almost 80,000 hectares of woods are deforested following return of property

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In the time to come Romania has to afforest about 700,000 hectares of land, which can no longer be used in agriculture, of the more than three million hectares of calamity-stricken land, which accounts for one third of Romania’s arable land, experts say.

“Currently we have about three million hectares of calamity-stricken land, one third of the arable land, and the solution for the recovery of the surface or the protection of the environment is to plant about 700,000 hectares with trees, which will be meant to protect the soil against floods and other phenomena, but also to retain the carbon dioxide, the main polluting source,” general secretary of the Bucharest Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences Marian Ianculescu, former parliamentarian and head of the Forestry Department within the Ministry of Waters over 1992-96, told on Thursday.

He made it clear that one of the reasons of landslides, of desertification or even of the worsening of some weather events was the massive deforestation after the 90s in Romania.
He said that currently 27 percent of Romania’s total area was covered in woods, and that they had to reach 40 percent in order to avoid floods or landslides, but also the increase in pollution.

“Romania’s forestry fund is 6.3 million hectares, only 27 percent of its area, whereas in other European countries it amounts to over 50 percent. Quite critical is the fact that, after 1990, this forestry fund changed dramatically in a negative way although it stayed about the same in point of quality.
Now we exploit around 17 million cubic metres of wood a year and are exporters of rough products as the furniture-making industry was almost destroyed after the Revolution,” said Professor Ianculescu.
The Ministry of the Environment and Forestry will invest more than 50 million euros in afforestation in 2010 as against an insignificant sum of money in 2009, relevant minister Laszlo Borbely recently said.

Bringing the decline of the woods covered areas to a halt and their enlargement to 30 percent of Romania’s area in the next three years are some of the priorities of the 2009-2012 governing programme.
The above-mentioned programme also provides combating deforestation and illegally cutting wood by completing the law package meant to reduce illegally cutting wood and to set up a unit for guarding forests and natural parks.

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