According to Balázs Orbán, the Prime Minister’s Political Director, the new logging rules are in the interest of sustainability. In his Facebook post, he stressed that this is not a political or ideological issue.
Balázs Orbán refuted “the suggestion that the government wants to alleviate the increased energy demand caused by the crisis at the expense of Hungarian forests.” He wrote that contrary to media reports, the recently published decree which relaxes the rules of logging has no such aim.
The State Secretary noted that thanks to the cuts in energy bills and modernization programs, the demand for firewood in Hungary has fallen dramatically. About twice as much wood is “produced” in Hungary each year as is consumed. This has led to a situation where a significant part of our forests is now so-called “overstocked forests.”
“Moreover, these are typically not native species, but species planted for short-term economic interests, which account for almost 40 percent of the domestic forest stock,” Balázs Orbán wrote.
“This situation is not sustainable,”
Balázs Orbán said that in the current energy crisis affecting the whole of Europe, increased domestic demand creates an opportunity to replace part of the existing, over-exploited forest stock with new, healthier forests of vigorous, indigenous species that can be used in the long term and can be renewed without cutting. “If this does not happen, Hungary will be left with nothing but stagnant, decaying forests,” he warned.
“This is an issue that goes beyond daily party politics and ideological confrontations, and it is also a serious professional issue,” he noted. He also pointed out that the National Association of Forestry (OEE) and the University of Sopron had expressed similar views.
On Tuesday, a new decree was published on the same subject, banning clear-cutting in protected or Natura 2000 forests, Telex reported.
“The felling of indigenous trees is still prohibited in nature reserves, and the government decree regulating logging is only intended for emergency situations,” Minister of Agriculture István Nagy stressed on Facebook. “Hungary’s green capital is not in danger,” he added.
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