About 50 disgruntled citizens and activists from the environmental organisation VLK participated on August 26 in a protest rally in front of the energy company BIioenergy in the town of Bardejov in eastern Slovakia.

They demanded an end to the use of perfectly sound wood as fuel to generate electric power and heat and to stop the destruction of forests, and in particular the abolition of support for such activities from the state budget. The protesters pointed out that the government in fact pays public money for the destruction of forests. The gathering agreed that only private owners benefit from this deal financially, while ordinary citizens only get deforested land as a result, along with noise and dust from bio-energy power plants.

The protest was connected with the campaign Biomasaker which was launched in April of this year by a petition of the association VLK. VLK head, Juraj Lukáč, informed the SITA newswire about the campaign: "Our goal is the abolition of state subsidies for all wood burned in biomass energy facilities, except for wood originating from energy crops and waste from the wood processing industry,” he said, continuing that the reason is that in Slovakia, the forested areas have shrunk since 2000 by about 760 square kilometres, and currently almost 4 million cubic meters of wood is logged for energy purposes alone, while sustainable exploitation of wood for all purposes from forested and non-forested areas in Slovakia ranges from 5.8 million to 6 million cubic meters, according to Lukáč.

The company Bioenergy Bardejov became a symbol of the campaign Biomasaker. Dissatisfied citizens who met in Bardejov demanded an end of burning wood for energy purposes, to stop the destruction of forests and in particular to abolish the support for such activities from the state budget. The assembly called on Environment Minister Peter Žiga to come symbolically tie a red ribbon in front of the entrance to Bioenergy Bardejov.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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