Environmental experts and researchers have expressed their anger at what they call an unprecedented decision by the Slovak Environment Ministry to issue a logging permit in the Zadná Poľana National Nature Reserve, the SITA newswire wrote.
More than 160 experts in ecology, forestry, zoology, botany, environmentalism, and other natural sciences signed an appeal to Environment Minister Jozef Medveď, Agriculture Minister Vladimír Chovan and the Director General of the state-run forestry company Lesy SR, Alojz Riška, to prevent logging at this site. They demanded that experts and scientists from the relevant fields be invited to examine the process that led to issuance of the permit, SITA wrote on April 20.
The Environment Ministry issued the logging permit for an extensive area of native forests in the Zadná Poľana National Nature Reserve and did not set any logging limit in its decision. Logging in this area – which has the highest level of nature protection – would be permitted until the end of 2018. The ministry justified its action by the need to fight against bark beetles.
However, according to the ecologist Ján Topercer, areas with withered trees are natural part of the native forest and eliminating interventions creates better conditions for improvement than logging. Calling such areas an “ecological catastrophe” caused by bark beetles is an environmental absurdity in his opinion. The experts also reminded the minister that the decision was made without consulting relevant scientific and expert institutions and while ignoring statements of its own expert organizations such as the State Institute of Nature Protection and the Administration of Poľana Protected Area.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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21. Apr 2010 at 14:00