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EnvirMin Alexe plans to carry out the largest expansion of forests in the past 30 years

Inquam Photos - George Călin
Inquam Costel Alexe

Romania has at least 500,000 hectares of degraded lands, in which context we have a big plan to substantially extend the surface that was covered by forests in Romania in the past 30 years, the Minister of Environment, Water and Forests Costel Alexe stated on Monday.

"We are here on a degraded land. This is an agricultural land, which hasn't been cultivated for many years. A field that no one uses. Because no farmer use it and there is no forest on it. And we have this type of fields all over the country! The last data that we got from the INS (National Institute of Statistics) show that, in 2004, Romania had 500,000 hectares of degraded land. This data must be updated and we must see exactly on the spot what the situation is. Because our plan is to afforest these fields. This autumn we will have the biggest forestation campaign of the past decade: "A forest as big as a country." You must believe that, if our plan is accomplished, this could be the largest expansion of the forests in our country of the past 30 years!," Alexe said while on a visit to such a degraded field near the Orbeasca locality in the Teleorman COunty.

He added that, in the past ten years, only 26,000 hectares of degraded land were forested in Romania.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests (MMAP), the counties with the largest deficit of forests are Calarasi (with only 4 per cent of its surface being covered with forests), Teleorman (5 per cent), Constanta (6 per cent), Ialomita (6 per cent), Braila (6 per cent) and Galati (8 per cent).

In this context, the mayoralties in the country are invited to help the relevant Ministry to identify those degraded lands. They will be included in the forestation campaign to be initiated this autumn called "A forest as big as a country!," said the same source.

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