A WWF alert induced an audit weather we protect our old forests for real
Audit on the state of old forests started in all six state-owned enterprises responsible for the management of state forest areas in Bulgaria. They were initiated by an order from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry following a signal from WWF. Documentary and field inspections will be carried out in parallel by state-owned enterprises and regional forest directorates.
The WWF signal is a result of an analysis conducted through the unique publicly available GIS platform for forests created by WWF. It contains detailed information about forests in Bulgaria. We have data on the area, the average age of the forest, the basic tree species, the logging license, if any, for each forest subsection. This, as well as the technical functionalities of the GIS platform, allowed us to conduct a camera analysis, which found that some of the old forests that have been declared for conservation have been cut down, which is unacceptable.
The WWF's investigation found that violations took place in the territories of all state-owned enterprises. Most often, it is a matter of logging in spite of the order of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, dated November 2016, which has already banned logging in the old forests. Another common type of violation is related to the change of the numbering of the respective departments and subsections. This avoids the banning regime and makes it difficult to control, as well as the efforts of civil society to alert the authorities responsible for forest protection.
Monitoring of old forests allows us to protect the forests in practice and this way to protect the home of variety of wild animals. WWF believes that one of the best ways to protect the wild animals is to protect their home - their habitat. Through our efforts we hope not to allow more animals species to be announced as extinct from Bulgaria - as the case of the lynx.
WWF Bulgaria would like to thank to all of our supporters who help us protect the Bulgarian old forests. Without your help this wouldn't be possible!