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EnviMin Alexe: Romania considering forbidding log exports outside EU

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Environment, Waters and Forests Minister Costel Alexe said, on Thursday evening, that Romania is considering forbidding log exports outside the European Union because the extra-community sees also notable quantities of timber being exported.

"Unfortunately, the European Commission does not allow us to ban the export of logs or any other type of export in the community space. I believe all of Romania, all the citizens and all the entities of this country should desire the working of the IFN (National Forest Inventory - e.n.). Anyway, we are the country in Europe with the shortest lifespan for the IFN. The Nordic countries, for example, have this mechanism for 40-50 or 60 years. For us this IFN is so important because it gives us data on the basis of which we can make the national forest strategy or any other kind of public policy in the forestry domain. The Romanian state is losing money for each million cubic meter of wood that is illegally logged. Let's say that, in a year, there are 10 million cubic meters (of illegally logged wood - e.n.) from the Romanian state's public property. If we multiply 10 million with 50 euro per cubic meter of wood, that results in 500 million euro, without even adding fiscalization," said Alexe, at private TV broadcaster Digi 24.

On the matter of the National Forest Corporation - Romsilva, the minister said that there is "room for much improvement".

"Romsilva, like many other institutions of the Romanian state, has remained isolated in some times and I believe there's room for much improvement at Romsilva in what regards the management of this institution. I am not contesting that there are very good specialists there, and in the Bucharest Corporation, and those that today are forestry personnel in the County Corporations, but I believe there is room for much improvement. Personally, I agreed and I supported the amendment of the statute of the forestry personnel, so that we find some financial resources to outfit them with better cars, so that they have higher wages if possible, to have the possibility for them to be armed," Costel Alexe added.

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