‘Let nature decide’ – rectors of most distinguished Polish universities against the logging

Recognized academics and rectors of most distinguished Polish universities – Warsaw University, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Warsaw University of Technology and President of the Polish Academy of Sciences wrote an appeal to Polish government to stop the logging in the Bialowieza Forest – the best preserved natural forest in Europe.

‘Bialowieza Forest is a priceless national treasure and a symbol of Polish nature recognized worldwide,’ they said. They pointed at the huge effort on the part of Poland so that the Forest would be added to the UNESCO list. ‘Under no circumstances should the Bialowieza Forest be managed like an average wood,’ the professors emphasized. They also added that the current management can lead to irreverseable damage and that might take millenia to recover from. They also noted that the bark beetle outbreak is due to climat change and, finally, called for protection of the Forest, which constitutes only 3.4% of Polish woodlands. ‘Let nature decide,’ they wrote in the letter.

This is one more significant voice for the protection of the Forest that is being ignored. At the end of June 33 deans of Polish universities also addressed the government to stop logging, but with no result.

Even the UNESCO decision is being ignored and the logging goes on. We still need to show our support and fight for the Forest!

You can find more appeals under this link.

Scientists banned from the forest

On the 8th of June heavy wood harvesting machines were blocked by a group of activists. The activists made an appeal to let scientists come to the forest, to the places were trees had been logged, and to make a scientific assessment of the logged trees – whether they were infected by the spruce bark beetle or not. They were to check if the cuttings in the zone protected by UNESCO and in over century-year-old forest stands could be somehow justified.

However, when on June 9, four distinguished scientists arrived at the site, they were immediately asked to prove their identity. The foresters made it impossible for the scientists to get to timber depots, trying to hide mass destruction of whole wooded areas. Finally, it was demanded for the scientists to leave. It should be pointed out that the chief forester of the Hajnówka forest district, Grzegorz Bielecki, had previously declared open access to the forest for all scientists and researchers.

prof. Wesołowski