Poland urged to halt ancient woods logging13/07/17Environment
The European Commission has urged Poland to halt logging in one of Europe’s last remaining areas of primeval forest, and has requested that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) take action.
Last year the Polish government decided to increase logging in Białowieża Forest, a unique ancient habitat and conservation area.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), EU officials and green activists protested at that move.
The government says the logging can help to curb a bark beetle infestation.
However, the commission has said that some endangered species are at risk.
The forest is situated on Poland’s eastern border with Belarus.
It is famous as a home for rare European bison, but also boasts many bird species including varieties of woodpecker and flycatcher.
The commission’s move comes after Poland’s government drew strong criticism from EU officials and human rights campaigners over a new law on appointing judges.
Parliament, instead of judges themselves, will have the power to select 15 of the 25 judges on the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), whose role is to guarantee judicial independence.
Critics have said it is a politicisation of the justice system, undermining the separation of powers.